December 10, 1922 – February 23, 2020
Nobody made a better lemon meringue pie, and nobody made more of them. Roger, member of the Greatest Generation, fine woodworker, off-road adventurist, and loyal Eagle left us early Sunday morning at age 97. He was generous, good-hearted, a man of high integrity, and a fine teller of Jokes.
Roger was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Carl G. and Vallie (Erickson) Sansen, the first of five children. After living in several Minnesota towns, Roger graduated from East Chain Consolidated School in 1940. He trained in Shakopee, Minnesota and worked the shipyards in Bremerton, Washington before enlisting in the Army Combat Engineers and serving in the Gilbert Islands. There he began his baking by supplying bread to the platoon every day.
Meanwhile, Shirley Stephenson, still in high school at East Chain, wrote to find out what the previous grads were doing in order to write an article in the school paper; the letters continued back and forth for the next three years, culminating in their wedding in August, 1946. As he began his farming career in southern Minnesota, he and Shirley welcomed their daughter, Linda. A highlight of this period was square dancing every Tuesday night.
In 1960 the family moved to Colorado Springs where Roger began work with Western Services, restoring and refinishing furniture for a number of years. After that he worked in Wyoming in commercial construction. Colorado provided hours of joyous jeeping and camping in inaccessible places – the harder to access, the better. Other spare time was devoted to widespread road travel in a variety of trailers, hunting, fishing, and impressive woodworking.
In 1971, Roger joined the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 143. During his 49-year membership, he served in a number of positions. As Worthy Chaplain he traveled with the Ritual Team to a national competition, which the Colorado Springs Aerie won.
Roger leaves behind his wife of 73 years, Shirley; daughter, Linda Gilbert of Salem, Oregon; sister, Sharon Rupp of Cederedge, Colorado; as well as his beloved cats, Fred, and George. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Millard Sansen, Marlys Weinman, and Shirley Krahmer; and his infant son, Geoffrey Lee Sansen.
Services will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 701 North 20th Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care or Trinity United Methodist Church.