POLSON— Roger P. McClure, age 75, passed away at home from complications of COVID-19 with family at his side on September 12, 2021. He was born November 28, 1945. Roger was the oldest of six children and assumed greater responsibilities at the age of 11 when a house fire took his father and one of his siblings. He was dedicated to his mom, sister, and remaining 4 brothers. Roger grew up in Polson and his roots in the valley are deep. His family didn’t have much money, but Dad remembered his childhood fondly especially summertime. While very bright, he dropped out of high school but did go on to college. He was known as the one either throwing an excellent party or knowing where the excellent party could be found. College was interrupted to serve in the Army in the Vietnam War.
He returned to University of Montana earning a history degree and then a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. Roger’s life work was centered around education, but he also believed in lifting people up whenever and however he could.
From a friend and faculty mate where he was Polson High School (PHS) Guidance Counselor for 27 years: Roger was a life-long advocate for kids. While serving as a counselor and friend at PHS, he was responsible for the academic and social successes of the many students he mentored.
Throughout his life, Roger endured many personal hardships and family tragedies. He used those experiences in a positive manner, a platform that allowed him to personally empathize and counsel with students and friends facing their own challenging issues. Roger was unselfish and embodied the spirit of service, readily accepting responsibilities and burdens to help lessen those faced by others.
Although not great at keeping notes or relying on technology, his unique intellect and highly tuned common sense prevailed. Roger had an amazing ability to recall names, dates, and details that proved invaluable. He had quite a vocabulary too.
Former students, fellow faculty members, and friends will forever retain fond memories of the time they were able to share with Roger. His keen sense of humor, self-deprecating style, love for others and caring spirit made knowing him a true blessing. He was a loyal, true friend.
From another friend and colleague: Roger was dedicated to the mission of Salish Kootenai College. With 20 years of service, he was the longest-serving member of the board of trustees and was influential in leading the board to add new degree programs, strengthen student services, and construct new facilities. He visited campus often just to chat with students and employees. With kind words and gentle humor, he praised their successes and offered solutions to their problems. He always encouraged everyone to lead with positivity. His work on the board was instrumental in making the college a national leader in tribal education. His work with students and employees made SKC a family. He also worked at the college after retirement from PHS and was key in securing grants that helped both young educators and students on their academic journeys.
Roger loved his family very much. He is preceded in death by his wife E.J., father Roy, mother Lois, and siblings Scott, Richard, Sharon, James and Paul. He is survived by his first-born daughter Samantha, son-in-law Scott, granddaughter Chey (DJ), and three great grandchildren Lane, Trinity IlyRae, and Libby; and grandson Draven (Jordan). He is survived also by his children with E.J., daughter Sara, son-in-law Damon, son Conor, daughter-in-law Amanda and their children granddaughter Rowan and grandson Quinlan. He is also survived by numerous extended family members.
The family would like to thank beyond measure all the people who loved Rog. We hope you will share the countless stories you have with us and tell them often to keep his memory alive. We especially want to thank the friends who helped him and watched over him in his last years with us. You are part of our family and words cannot adequately express our gratitude.
Rog was a unique, beautiful person who cared deeply about justice, living by the moral code, and always leading with love. We are proud to carry on his legacy to the best of our ability.
There was a viewing at The Lake Funeral Home, 101 6th Avenue East, Friday September 17, 2021; graveside ceremony at Lakeview Cemetery on Saturday, September 18. An outdoor celebration of life to follow edat 1900 Rung Lane, Polson.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation in Roger’s name to the Mission Valley Humane Society or to the Polson High Scholarship Fund c/o Chris Strom Box 741 Polson, MT 59860. Messages of condolences may be shared with the family online at www.lakefuneralhomeandcremation.com.
Arrangements are under the care of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.