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Roger Mickelson

1936 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Roger Mickelson Obituary
Mickelson, Col. Roger W.

Colonel Roger W. Mickelson, (U.S. Army, Retired)


Roger Mickelson had his final change of command on Saturday, November 26, 2016, due to complications from injuries sustained in an automobile accident caused by another driver running a red light. Roger will be remembered as an influential individual in military, educational, community and political affairs, someone who loved his country, his family, and life. He never stopped making a difference.

Roger was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Cyrus and Hazel Mickelson. He attended Washington High School, and went to the University of South Dakota on a ROTC Scholarship, receiving a BA in mathematics; he also received a MSEE from New Mexico State University. He is also a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, the Naval War College, and the School of Hard Knocks.

On graduation from the University of South Dakota, he married Ann Nachel (1936-­- 2006) and was commissioned into the U.S. Army. He served for more than 32 years, 28 of those as an Army officer, retiring in 1986. While on active duty, Roger was Commanding Officer of the 69th Ordinance Corp. in Italy, and Battalion Commander of the 59th at Miesau Army Depot, Germany. As an Ordinance Corp Officer, he commanded in three different branches of the Army, serving overseas in Korea, Italy, Vietnam, and Germany, and almost too many stateside posts to count. He was also a senior consultant to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, DoD Assistant for Emergency Planning, Executive Director of the Army Science Board, and was an experienced strategist.

Following his retirement from active duty, he entered the private sector as a Principal Systems Analyst for SRA, braving oil spill exercises despite his profound dislike of water and boats. When Ann announced her retirement from the Army/defense related life in 1998, Roger was happy to move away from water, and they made their final move to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He continued to consult with the Department of Defense within his specialties: national security policy analysis, interagency strategic planning, crisis management, continuity of government, and emergency response planning and operations. He also became very active in state and local politics and neighborhood affairs, serving as president of the Four Hills Neighborhood Associations, the Inter-Neighborhood Coalition, consultant and advisor to the University of New Mexico Chapter of his college fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and President of the New Mexico MOAA chapter. He was highly regarded in the halls of local and state government as someone who would dig deeply for information and brought calm and reasoned responses to controversial issues, even among those who may have disagreed.

Roger was the President of The Military Conflict Institute, a group of US and international students of war seeking to foster public understanding of the nature of

military conflict. He spearheaded and edited a book published in 2013.

He was a devoted caregiver to his wife, Ann, during her battles with cancer. Following her death in 2006, he returned to his active life with local and state politics and veterans affairs. In 2010, he met Dolores Morgan, to whom he was engaged at the time of his death, and they were constant companions.

Roger is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Kimberley Mickelson and Frank Lathers of Houston; Pamme Mickelson-­-Windhager and Steve Windhager of Santa Barbara; his granddaughters, Shanna Dawson and Ivy Orr; and his companion and fiancee for the past six years, Dolores Morgan of Albuquerque. He is preceded in death by his wife, Ann; his parents, Cyrus and Hazel Mickelson; and his half-brother, Curtis Mickelson.

As his friends have said, a light has truly gone out in the universe, and many feel as though they have lost their right arm.

In lieu of flowers, please direct all donations to the Albuquerque chapter of MOAA or a veteran's organization of your choice. There will be a Memorial Service Saturday, December 10, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at FRENCH â€" Lomas. Roger will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 2017. Please visit our online guestbook for Roger at

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 4, 2016
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