Rogelio "Roger" Verduzco

Sept. 26, 1936 - Dec. 15, 2019

Rogelio “Roger” Coronado Cenizais Verduzco, 83, formerly of La Grande and Joseph, died Dec. 15, 2019, in Kennewick, Washington. His ashes will be scattered when the weather warms. Arrangements were handled by Prosser Funeral Home.

Known as Roger, he was born Sept. 26, 1936, in Dallas, Texas, to Katalina Coronado Cenizais Verduzco and Alberto Verduzco. When Roger and his mother were able to travel, they returned to East Chicago, Indiana, to reunite with his father and siblings. The family lived in the Harbor area where Roger attended high school and was captain of their football team.

After graduation from high school, Roger served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and enjoyed parachuting. He was honorably discharged August 31, 1964, after which he earned a PhD at Purdue University. Roger and his wife, Mary, moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he became a professor at Arizona State University. Roger and Mary divorced, and he moved to Joseph. He worked at odd jobs in Wallowa County while enjoying hiking and camping.

In 1979, Roger took a position as the clinical director of the Grande Ronde Child Center in La Grande, where he met his wife-to-be. He and Susan Lamica were married Dec. 15, 1979. They went on a honeymoon in Wallowa County with Susan’s young sons, ages 8 and 10. They hiked 4-1/2 miles to the confluence of Sheep Creek with the Snake River. They attempted fishing but fish were not interested in dodging ice cubes to take bait. After four days they returned to La Grande.

Later, Roger began a career in rehabilitation, serving Eastern Oregon and Washington. To lessen weekday travel, he and Susan bought a second home in Kennewick, Washington. Roger and Susan divorced in 1988, and Roger took a position with the state of Washington until suffering a heart attack. Health problems ensued necessitating kidney dialysis. Roger and Susan continued their relationship until his death on the 40th anniversary of their marriage.

Roger enjoyed golfing with friends, especially Pete. He was a Master Gardener and assisted with the installation of the Kennewick Library rose garden.

Surviving relatives include his sisters, Stella Galvin and Sarah Martinez and her husband, Raul, of Indiana, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by four other siblings.

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