Roger Lee ARLETH(12/12/1946 - 05/17/2016)
Born December 12, 1946 and went to be with Jesus May 17, 2016 surrounded by his loving family and friends. Roger had Parkin- son's disease and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury from an accidental fall on March 9, which led to his death. Roger lived his entire life in the Spokane and Loon Lake area. Roger attended Roosevelt, Sacajawea, Lewis and Clark High School and Eastern Washington University. He served in the Air Force Reserves for 6 years as a Surgical Tech. He was a man who devoted his entire life to serving others. He served as a volunteer fireman/EMT for over 20 years for Stevens County, Loon Lake Sewer Commissioner for over 30 years, Owners' Representative when the new Loon Lake School was built, as well as being the Maintenance Director for many years. He was Charter President of the Loon Lake Property Owners and Governor of Loon Lake Moose Lodge. He was instrumental in bringing in the sewer to Loon Lake and in getting natural gas put in around Loon Lake. Many of the homes around Loon Lake probably have some part of Roger in there as he used his gift of being a Journeyman Electrician helping to fix and remodel homes. Roger was also involved with the building of Expo 74, as he worked on the Opera House. As we would drive around town, Roger would often point to buildings and say: "Fine wiring job there". He was truly proud of the quality of work he put into everything. He was a life member of the Elks Lodge, a member of the Spokane Club and a member of First Presbyterian Church. Roger received many awards and recognitions over the years for the service he provided to so many, but was content to just quietly serve his community. He took great pride in his yard, making sure he always had the most beautiful flowers. People who drove by in boats on Loon Lake would often comment on his beautiful beach.
Roger married the love of his life, Laura Wintersteen and gained the family he had always wanted. They continued to serve together at Camp Fun in the Sun and Camp STIX, camps for kids with diabetes. He was a proud member of Spokane Central Lions Club, where he and Laura also served Lions throughout Washington, N. Idaho and British Columbia as well. He was also involved with City Gate, a downtown ministry serving the homeless, where he and Laura would make hundreds of cookies at Christmas to give out at their party. He was often on the WSU Spokane Campus speaking to nursing and pharmacy students about life with Parkinson's so that they could learn more as providers. He gave so much of his time to the students as he wanted them to be successful and knowledgeable as they cared for others. He truly loved his WSU College of Nursing students and they in turn loved him. Roger would do whatever he could to assist them in their journey, including filling the candy and pretzel dishes. He loved going to convocations, Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society inductions and anything else to support his students. He loved to throw a great 4th of July party at Loon Lake and opened up his home to staff at City Gate and WSU campus students for Diversity Club parties. Roger's life was truly a life of service to others. Anyone who knew Roger, loved him and were so appreciative of him. His final act of service was to donate his body to the Willed Body Program at WSU, so that others can continue to learn through him.
Roger is survived by many friends and family. Wife Laura, son Joshua, grandchildren who he adored; Kali, Madilyn, Logan and his namesake Emma Lee. These grandchildren brought him so much joy and happiness in life. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, John Wintersteen, who assisted greatly in his care. He is also survived by niece Karra Rapp (John), children Kyla and Jared; nephew Kirk Myrhe (Amy), children, Olivia and Quinn; niece Chris Miller Hewett and children Tayler and Shelby (Ana). He is also survived by dear friends Tom and Kris Jewett and their children Sarah and TJ. Also survived by brothers, Jim (Marilyn) and Bob (Jan) and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents; Robert and Wilma Arleth, a sister, Sue Myhre and his in-laws, Bud and Millie Wintersteen.
Roger's life will be celebrated on June 11 at 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church, 318 S. Cedar. In lieu of flowers, family suggests memorials to Camp STIX, camp for kids with diabetes: PO Box 8308 Spokane, WA 99203, City Gate Fellowship: 170 S. Madison Spokane, WA 99201 or Spokane Central Lions Club for the WSU College of Nursing Scholarships: 1212 N. Howard Spokane, WA 99201.
We are so appreciative of Hospice of Spokane during his final week. There are not enough words to express our family's thankfulness to the huge support we have received since his accident. The gift of food, money, visits, assistance with Roger's care, love, prayers and support will forever be in our hearts. Our friends from WSU College of Nursing, Loon Lake, Unify Community Health, our Lions Clubs families, our diabetes camp family. A special thank-you to our dear friends, Kris and Tom Jewett and their children, Sarah and TJ for the many hours and talents you gave. A special thank-you also to Dr. William Sayres, Roger's primary physician for almost 16 years and Jamie Mark, ARNP, his neurologist since his diagnosis with Parkinsons 13 years ago. You both have truly been remarkable providers. Please share a memory you have of Roger and celebrate his life and the amazing man he was.
Published in Spokesman-Review on May 22, 2016