Roger Keith Corder, the third child of loving parents, Nathan Gwin and Beatrice Elfreda (Trued) Corder, was born on January 1, 1944, in Kansas City, Missouri.
He attended K-12 in the Center School District in Kansas City, Missouri. During high school, he was on the track team and set a record in pole vault. He graduated in 1962. He worked his way through college for the Railroad Express loading packages on trains at Union Station. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Central Missouri State College in 1968. Upon graduation, he had the choice of being drafted or enlisting in the Army on the “buddy” system; which he did. He received his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was then transferred to San Antonio and was trained to be a medic. His MSO changed and he served as a liaison for overseas transfers back to the United States from Viet Nam. He received the rank of Specialist 5th Class. In 1969, he was sent to Viet Nam and served in the 18TH Engineer Brigade base along the South China Sea. It was just north of Cam Ranh Bay. He spent his R & R in Tokyo, Japan. After being discharged, he went back to school to work on his Master’s Degree and apply for a teaching position.
He began his teaching career in the Shawnee Mission School District in Overland Park, Kansas in August of 1970. He taught at John Diemer Elementary, Hillcrest Junior High and Indian Woods Middle School as a Physical Education instructor. He retired in 2006 after 36 years. He totally enjoyed his job and loved teaching physical education to both girls and boys. He always said, “I got to play all day long, while my wife worked.”
Roger met the girl of his dreams the first week of teaching. Barb taught at the same elementary school. He asked her out in October and the love bug hit! They were married August 15, 1971 at Peace Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Missouri. They had time for a honeymoon before they began their second year of teaching. Roger moved to the junior high level so they never taught together again. They were married for almost 53 years.
At long last, a daughter, Melinda Louise, was born to them on May 3, 1977. What joy she brought into their lives. He looked forward to becoming a father. He enjoyed watching her grow and become a successful business woman, wonderful wife and mother. Helping with wedding plans and walking her down the aisle were highlights in his life until the three grandchildren arrived. They filled his retirement years with joy as he got to watch them develop, play sports and enter their teen years. Traveling at home and abroad was one of his favorite things to do. He especially loved the U.S. and Canadian National Parks and the beauty of nature that his Lord provided.
Roger entered eternal peace on Sunday, July 30, 2023 at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He attained the age of 79 years, 6 months, and 30 days.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Nathan and Beatrice, brother Gary, sister-in-law Kay Melewski and nephew Matt Wolcott. Roger is survived by his wife Barbara Corder of Leawood; daughter Mindy and husband Rhett and grandchildren Adalie, Alexa and Gannon Goy of Malvern, Iowa; brother Robert Corder and wife Nancy; sister-in-law Jane Franek; nieces and nephews Michele and Kurt Taylor, Jeff and Liz Corder, Keith and Jessica Corder, Christy Witt and Pierre Floriano, Bryan and Suzanne Witt; great nieces and nephews and their children Jeffrey Taylor, Ashley and Jason McCarty, Brandi and Kendall Kile, Nick and Amy Corder, Kirstyn and Fede Castagnini, Isabella Corder, Gabriella Corder and Luciana Corder; sister-in-law Cheri Wolcott and husband Chris; nieces Kim Wolcott and Melissa Wind and husband Paul and great niece McKenna and great nephew Austin; brother-in-law Dr. Fred Smardo and wife Holly; niece Dr. Carissa Sherwood and husband Jared and nephew Dr. Craig Smardo; brother-in-law Bill Melewski and wife Shelley of Kansas City, Missouri, and many other relatives, and friends.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 9th at 10:00am prior to the funeral with the funeral beginning at 11:30am at Bethany Lutheran Church, 9101 Lamar Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas. Interment will follow the next day in Malvern, Iowa at 11:30am. The family requests no flowers, but memorial contributions can be made in his honor to Bethany Lutheran Church.