Former Durango resident Roger John Schlagbaum died from congestive heart failure Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Alamosa. He was 71.
Mr. Schlagbaum was born to Anthony A. “Tony” and Gertrude C. (Bendele) Schlagbaum on Oct. 30, 1941, in Ottoville, Ohio. He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Ottoville High School in 1959.
Mr. Schlagbaum joined the Navy in 1959 and served in the Submarine Corps on the USS Bluegill stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bluegill patrolled the Northern Pacific waters off the coast of Russia. He left the Navy in 1964 after serving his four-year hitch.
On Sept. 11, 1968, he married Marian Bennett in Ottoville, and they lived first in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Schlagbaums settled in Durango in 1975 after spending nearly two years traveling the U.S. in their motorhome. In Durango, both Mr. and Mrs. Schlagbaum were licensed electrical contractors with Nichols Electric Inc.
In 1990, Mr. Schlagbaum became an electrical inspector for the state of Colorado, and the couple lived first in Fort Morgan and later Monte Vista, where they were living at the time of his death. He retired in 2004, and spent his retirement in Monte Vista as a woodworking artist creating specialized wooden jewelry and ornamental boxes. Mr. Schlagbaum also was active in and helped organize the Monte Arts Council, which is planning to open the city’s first art center.
Mr. Schlagbaum is survived by his wife of 44 years, Marian Schlagbaum, of Monte Vista; sister, Arlene M. Herman, of Kettering, Ohio; brothers Donald A. Schlagbaum, Gary J. Schlagbaum and Russell U. Schlagbaum, all of Ottoville, and Tim A. Schlagbaum of Safety Harbor, Fla.; and 14 nieces and 12 nephews.
Cremation has occurred.
A memorial service will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, at the Monte Vista Information Center, 947 1st Ave.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to The Monte Arts Council of Monte Vista, c/o Rogers Family Mortuary, 404 Morris St., Monte Vista, CO 81144.