August 6, 2020
Roger Eugene McElroy, 79, died July 22, 2020.
He was born on the family farm outside of Randall, to William Finley (Bill) and Mildred Marie Wallace McElroy on Sept. 27, 1940.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents and one granddaughter, Sheldon Lianne Posey.
Survivors inclued his four children: Curtis McElroy of Tulsa, Okla., Greg McElroy of Randall, Gina (Eric) Fox of Rockwall, Texas, and Kimi McElroy-Posey of Amarillo, Texas; two siblings: Donald (Beulah) McElroy of Ellis, Kan., and Diane (Bill) Edwards of Bloomington, Ill .; eight grandchildren: Kelli (Richie) Breaux, Stella McElroy, Cassie (Gavin) Cole, Shayden (Brandon) Cowan, Wyatt Posey, Max Fox, Matt (Karla) Lisle, and Cheyenne Lisle; 11 great-grandchildren: Hayden and Elsie Breaux, Abigail, Kylie, Karsen and Brycen Cowan, Emmett and Reese Cole, Zachary and Alice Lisle and Lillian Parker-Posey.
Roger spent his childhood helping with the family farm. As soon as he was old enough, he traveled each summer with his dad’s custom cutting crew, beginning in Oklahoma, they cut their way to North Dakota, returning home in time to attend the Belleville fair.
Roger attended school in Randall where he played football during high school. His senior year was the only year when he and his siblings were all in school together. His brother, Donald, was a freshman and his sister, Diane, was in first grade.
After he graduated in 1958, he enrolled at K-State University, where his parents attempted to curb Roger’s preference to party by sending him to college without a vehicle. However, being the resourceful young man that he was, he quickly purchased an old Harley motorcycle. When the weather became too cold, he traded it for an old Studebaker. K-State, not being too thrilled with Roger’s scholastic performance, placed him on probation. This apparently motivated Roger as he completed his second year at Fort Hays State University, making the Dean’s Honor Roll.
Deciding college was not for him, Roger moved to California to work in construction with his Uncle John Reystead. It was in California where Roger became a father with the birth of his son, Curtis Eugene, on Jan. 8, 1962. Less than a year later, he returned to Kansas and soon after welcomed the birth of his second son, Gregory Alan on Jan. 31, 1963. He was the manager at co-op elevators for several years during which time his family doubled with the births of two daughters, Gina Susanne on Oct.16, 1966, and Kimi Lynn on Dec. 4, 1970.
Roger moved his family to Johnson, Kan., in 1972, where he was the manager of Collingwood Grain and eventually started his own business. While living in Johnson, he achieved one of his greatest dreams when he earned his pilot’s license and purchased his Cessna Skylane 182. He was a member of the Flying Farmers Association.
As the years flowed by, no matter what business Roger was involved in, it was centered around a desk, a phone and a notebook. Before retiring, he was involved in buying and selling junk grain, which he ran from his home in Canyon, Texas.
In 1987, Roger became a grandfather with the birth of his first grandchild, Kelli BriAnn Elizabeth. Over the years he was blessed with seven more grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Roger approached life and his work with vigorous tenacity. But the role he valued most was that of a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He remembered birthdays, making sure to send a card with money and a phone call. At Christmas he would have a special gift for the grandkids. He cherished his family and made sure everyone was safe and taken care of at the end of each day. He enjoyed reading newspapers, including the Jewell County Record and was up to date on current events.
A resilient man; some would say he had nine lives. Roger survived everything from lung cancer, brain surgery, hip replacement, years of severe COPD, and fought off pneumonia a multitude of times. His health challenges had a silver lining in being that he got to see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. First, with a move to Rockwall, Texas, where he lived for several years with daughter, Gina. Then in 2017, he moved to Tulsa, Okla., to live with son, Curt.
If you met Roger, you never forgot him. He would give you the shirt off his back and his last dollar to anyone in need. Everyone was welcome in his home. His door was always open. He took time out every day to call his children. In his last days he was still picking up that phone and calling them, checking to make sure they were okay.
You could count on Roger to tell it to you straight, whether you wanted to hear it or not and usually he was right. His children and grandchildren knew if they lived in his house, they got up at sunrise - No matter what. His work ethic and love for his family will never be forgotten.
Motto: If McElroy is up, Everyone is Up.
His funeral was held at 11 a.m., at Randall Community Church in Randall on Aug. 3, with graveside service and reception following. Pastor Dan Daniels officiated. Burial was in the Randall Cemetery. Services were under the care of Fitzgerald Funeral Home of Tulsa, Okla. Friends may sign the digital register book and share memories at http://www.fitzgeraldfuneral service.com.