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July 11, 1955 - December 25, 2017
Roger V. McMaster, 62
Roger passed away peacefully at home on Christmas Day, following a year-long battle with cancer. Born in 1955 to Galen and Sigrid McMaster, Roger grew up in American Falls, Idaho, and graduated from American Falls HS in 1973. From an early age, Roger enthusiastically participated in school and church activities. He achieved Eagle Scout, setting an example that his two brothers would follow. Roger’s enthusiasm for Scouting continued all his life as he served as a leader for Troops and Packs in the Yelm and Bald Hills area, generating much community involvement.
“Duty, Honor, Country” was a recurring theme throughout Roger’s life. He was accepted into the US Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1977. He then completed the rigorous training to become an Army Ranger. Many of his assignments took him overseas, including postings in Germany, Panama, Colombia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. One of his many duties was to serve as a Senior United Nations Military Observer (SUNMO) in Egypt and surrounding countries.
Roger retired from the U.S. Army as a Major in 1994. He and his wife, Diana, settled on a small farm in Bald Hills, near Yelm, WA, where they quickly became dynamic members of the community. They joined the volunteer fire department as firefighters and EMTs and their dedication and high achievement earned them positions as instructors and evaluators serving across the state. In 1997 Roger was elected Fire Commissioner of Bald Hills Fire District 17. He served in this post, as well as Chairman of the Board, until he stepped down in December 2017. He also served as President of the Thurston County Fire Commissioners for several years. His leadership was instrumental in rebuilding the Bald Hills fire department and achieving the enhanced service rating it has today.
Roger was a member of Bald Hills Community Church, and his leadership and exuberant singing voice will be missed. Roger was known to break into song as the moment took him, even creating a tune to meet the occasion if necessary.
In his spare time from helping others, he indulged his other hobbies of beekeeping, raising animals, and collecting Americana, including the largest beer can collection many of us will ever see.
Roger is survived by Diana, the love of his life and wife of 35 years; children, Brandon (Alexandra) and Adrienne; grandchildren, Tristan, Naya, Kaitlin and Garrett; and one great grandchild, Cleo. He was preceded in death by his father, Galen, but is also survived by his mother, Sigrid, brothers Vern (LeeAnn) and Dwight (Anne), and sister Charlotte (Tim).
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Roger and Diana McMaster Endowment at Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Washington (http://www.bates.ctc.edu/foundation). The endowment supports local Explorers and Scouts with an emphasis on future first responders, EMTs and nurses.
Services will be January 20, 2018 at 1pm in the Lake Lawrence Lodge,
15735 Topaz Drive, Yelm, WA 98597.
Additional details will be posted on the Nisqually Valley News Facebook page as they come available.