School 09

       


Roman A. Borgerding

July 5, 1928 ~ September 12, 2018 (age 90)

Roman Borgerding, long-time educator and lover of the outdoors, died Wednesday in his Colorado home on Chalk Creek, surrounded by family and the glorious Collegiate Peaks.


Roman was born July 5, 1928, to a German farming family in Dutzow, Missouri, the 9th child of 12. One of the first in his family to graduate from high school, Roman was a reluctant student who would have preferred farming with his father, but he wasn’t needed on the farm at the time. World War II changed that; his brothers enlisted and Roman got to leave high school to be his father’s “right-hand” man. When they returned from the war, Roman became the “little brother” again, so he finished high school and moved to St Louis, MO, and a job he didn’t love. On the bus one day headed to work, he saw an ROTC office out the window, pulled the stop cord, jumped off the bus, and signed up. ROTC led to a Korean War enlistment with the Air Force where he was a war correspondent and had the honor of photographing the Peace Talks in P’anmunjom. After the war, he later transitioned to photographing his family and became an accomplished nature photographer.


When he returned to the states, Roman entered the seminary in Denver, CO, but was encouraged by his monsignor to explore something else. A transfer to Regis College (also in Denver), resulted in an education degree and an education on how to convince a smart woman from Minnesota that he wasn’t all that bad. Carmen Urevig was an assistant librarian at Regis who had no intention of going out with him until he jumped on her desk, singing and dancing. To quiet him, she said yes.

 

That first date eventually became an “I do,” and Roman and Carmen settled with their first daughter in New Hope, MN, eventually adding three more daughters to the family. Roman taught English, Shakespeare, Creative Writing, and Poetry for 30 years at Golden Valley High School and Hopkins High School. A difficult grader, Roman quickly gained a reputation for exacting, challenging courses that students remembered later as some of their best classes and their worst grades.

 

Being an educator meant summers free, so Roman and Carmen would pack up the family and off they would go to explore the country—often from early June to late August. Memorable trips included Colorado; Utah; Maine; many excursions, summer and winter, to Lake Superior; and numerous family reunions made unforgettable by Roman orchestrating 50 to 100+ people into perfectly posed images. Those summer travels increased his and Carmen’s love for the West. When they decided to retire, they chose Colorado as their final home. Heartbreakingly, Carmen died before the move was made, but Roman decided to stick with the plan and enjoyed 25 years hiking, biking, writing, and photographing—missing Carmen every day.

 

Roman was preceded in death by his wife, Carmen; his parents, Joe and Emma (Hopen) Borgerding; and eight brothers and sisters. He is survived by his four daughters and their families: Betsy and Greg Sedig and sons Max and Joe of Denver, CO; Heidi and Jeff Begin and daughters Anna (Brandon) and Laura (Samuel) of New Hope, MN; Martha and Wayne Sellers of Belgrade, MT; and Sarah and Bo Ewald and grandson Tyler of Red Lodge, MT. He is also survived by two brothers, one sister, one sister-in-law, one brother-in-law, and hundreds of nieces and nephews.

 

Many thanks to Beartooth Billings Clinic; Denver Health 3B Trauma Staff; Heart of the Rockies Home Health and Hospice; and his dear friends in Chaffee County for helping make his last years and final days as rich as possible.

 

Roman will be buried next to Carmen in Dutzow, MO, and the family is planning memorials in Colorado and Minnesota at a later date. Arrangements are being handled by Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home in Saldia, CO (lewisandglenn.com). If you are interested in making a donation in his name, please consider Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth, MN (hawkridge.org) and the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association in Salida, CO (garna.org). 

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