Roger is survived by his wife, Betsy (Hodgson) Wiltz, his daughters, Laurie (Fisher), Lisa (Ladson) and LuAnn (Shay); grandchildren Hannah and Madison Fisher, Nichela Ladson, and Sam, Grace, and Gaby Shay; his brother Mike; several cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. Roger was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws Merlin and Evelyn Hodgson, sister Janet (Adams), brother JB, son-in-law Rodney, and countless other loved ones.
Although Roger was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, he loved his summers at Cedar Lake and ultimately left the city for SDSU on a football scholarship. It was in Brookings, where he met his wife Betsy and cemented his love for the outdoors. Early in his education career he taught and Roger Allen Wiltz of Wagner, age 80, passed away after a short battle with brain and liver cancer. He was born on April 12, 1942, son of the late John and Lucille (Olsen) Wiltz.
coached wrestling and/or football in Willow Lake, Parkston, and Burke. His career culminated as a high school principal in Wagner and retirement was followed by time in Tripp as a guidance counselor and teacher.
Roger continued to stay busy in retirement, hunting, fishing and writing a weekly outdoor column in several local newspapers highlighting these outdoor adventures. With almost 50 years of weekly columns under his belt, Roger compiled a book of his most popular articles and published it. He went on to write two more books about his outdoor adventures and his childhood. He also published articles and stories in numerous other literary outlets.
Throughout his adult life Roger was also active in Rotary Interna-tional and other civic organizations in addition to volunteering his time with his local parish. He also loved history and enjoyed travel as well as black powder shoots with his buddies. His favorite times, however, were times spent with his family, especially fishing with his grandkids. Within just a few short weeks prior to Roger’s cancer diagnosis and quick decline, he had traveled to the Gulf Shores with his family (where he fished with his grandkids) and to Canada fishing with friends. In the end he mentioned that not only did he feel he was “going out in a blaze of glory” but also that he was the happiest he’d ever been in his life, surrounded by the love of his family. He was reassured that his love of life and generous spirit was always larger than himself (which was pretty large) and that his spirit will continue to live on forever through the lives that he touched as an educator, author, father and friend.
Roger asked for his life to be celebrated. His family plans to have an intimate gathering of family and local friends in Wisconsin followed next summer by a Celebration of Life gathering in Wagner. Well wishes and/or tributes can be left on Roger’s CaringBridge website @ www. caringbridge/rogerwiltz. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Rotary International Foundation or American Cancer Society in Roger’s memory @ https://www.rotary.org/ en/donate or https://donate3. cancer.org.