Roger Dean Lonning, age 96, passed away on October 25, 2023, at Thorne Crest Senior Living Center Community.
Roger was born in Iowa City, Iowa (oldest of seven boys) in 1927. He attended rural schools in Lansing and Waukon, Iowa, where he graduated from high school in 1945. After high school, he spent eight years in the United States Navy, 5½ years on active duty during World War II and the Korean War. After service, he received a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State Teacher College (now University of Northern Iowa) in 1957 and a Masters Degree in Library Science from the University of Minnesota in 1972.
Roger was united in marriage to his wife, Marjorie Ann Moe on August 16, 1954 in Waukon, IA. They were blessed with three children, Stuart, Kathy and Steven.
In 1955 he began his educational career in Clarion, Iowa, as the school librarian. In1957, he accepted a position as sixth-grade teacher in the Albert Lea School District. In 1961, he became the Librarian/Media Specialist at Albert Lea High School and served in that position until he retired after 34 years in education. In retirement he continued to do substitute teaching at surrounding area elementary and high school.
He was an avid volunteer and was often recognized for his hard work and dedication. One of Rogers greatest acknowledgements was Citizen of The Year award that he received in 2017. Over the years he was involved with the Freeborn County Historical Society along with 30 other non-profit organizations, many of them at the same time.
Roger was very proud of his Norwegian Heritage. He and Marge spent their 25th wedding anniversary in Norway. Roger also made it a goal to take each of his eight grand children to Norway to explore their Scandinavian roots. He also loved road trips and visiting historical sites with Marge and other family members.
He is survived by his children Stuart (Grace) Lonning, Kathy (Gary) O’Connor and Steven (Cheryl) Lonning. Roger was a cherished Grandfather of Lindsay (Tucker) Frederick and Kelsey (Brad) Stevens. Josh Larson, Seth Larson, Leah Larson, Dr. Melissa (Paul) Richards, Nicole (Mitch) Schahn, Krystle (Neil) Belshan, He was also a great grandfather to 11 great grandchildren. He has 4 surviving brothers Richard Lonning, Phillip (Carol) Lonning, Frank (Donna) Lonning, Gary Lonning, Sister-in-law Tildy Moe and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie, parents Lennie and Leona Lonning, brothers Charles and Dennis. In- laws, Sam and Norma Moe, and brother-in-law Raymond Moe.
Visitation will be at Bridge Community Church on November 16th 4 pm to 7pm. A private funeral service and burial will take place on November 17th .
Our family wants to thank both the wonderful staff at Thorn Crest and St. Croix Hospice for the love and care they gave our father. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to St. Croix Hospice (2580 Bridge Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007), Youth for Christ, Thorne Crest Scholarship Fund (thornecrest.net/scholarship-fund) or the Roger and Marjorie Lonning Educational Scholarship of Albert Lea (PO Box 828, Albert Lea, MN 56007)