Roger Dean Janzen, of rural Independence, Kansas, was born on April 16, 1942, and entered his eternal home and into the presence of his Lord and Savior on May 1, 2020. Roger was born in Enid, Oklahoma, the fourth child of Dan and Anna Janzen. He attended school in Enid, Oklahoma, and also in Marshall, Arkansas. He graduated from Oklahoma Bible Academy in Enid, Oklahoma, in 1960.
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Roger attended Tabor College, where he gave a young lady named Edna Mae Friesen from Garden City, Kansas, a ride back to the dorm in his red VW bug on a particularly rainy day. The two were later married in Garden City, Kansas, on May 22, 1964, and enjoyed almost 56 years together. In his college years, Roger especially enjoyed singing with a men’s octet and had very fond memories of tours together. One tour took them to Banff National Park, a place Roger loved taking Edna back to see.
Married life began in Enid, Oklahoma, were Roger taught music education at Hunter and Jet, Oklahoma, as well as farming in the summers. It was in Enid that a daughter, Kristin Renee, joined the family. Soon afterward, the family moved to Sedan, Kansas, where Roger taught music and two more children, David Scott and Julie Ann joined the family.
After a move to Independence, Roger began work with his dad at Janzen Grain & Feed, which led to a long career in agriculture in the Independence area, culminating with Roger D. Janzen Farm, LLC. Roger continued to pursue his love for music by leading music and worship and playing the trumpet.
Roger always had a business with a mission and had many friends in his farming and fertilizer operation. He gave everyone he worked with the opportunity to provide for their family (and often others as well), making sure they knew that his goal was not just making a dollar. He shared his life with others and his joy for the Lord was always present, and co-workers became like family.
Payday Friday mornings were special because the team made breakfast together to start the day. Even in the last weeks of his life when Roger’s hospice nurse asked him what she most needed to know about him, he replied, “That Jesus loves me.”
Roger and Edna were a true example of love and shared a strong commitment in marriage, with the love of God as their foundation. They enjoyed trips to Branson for anniversaries and to see their kids and grandkids often. When it came time for college, the kids enjoyed having their dad take them to visit Tabor College, where they would each attend. Times growing up were especially fun in the summer, waterskiing at the Elk City reservoir or singing and playing music together. In recent years, vacations brought them all together for family reunions in California, Hawaii, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Roger is preceded in death by his parents and infant brother Johnny, and sisters Helen Bernice and Mary Lou Nickel.
He is survived by his wife Edna Mae; daughters Kristin and Eric Wiebe of Scottsbluff, NE, and Julie and Tyce LaQuey of Fort Worth, TX; and son David and Karen Janzen of Morro Bay, CA. Ten grandchildren: Ben (Katie), Jon, and Anna Wiebe, Alex, Simon, June and Amber Janzen, Caleb, Abby, and Luke LaQuey. He is also survived by his siblings Diane (Dwayne) Claassen, Carol (Dean) Nachtigal, Nita Rae Nirschl, and Danny (Susan) Janzen.
Memorial donations can be made to Gideon International and Tabor College, Hillsboro, KS.
A graveside service for immediate family only (due to COVID-19) will be held in Enid, Oklahoma, with a memorial opportunity to come later in Independence,