After an 8-month battle with acute liver failure, Roger peacefully passed away at 11:10 am on April 20, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He was 79 years old. Roger was born to Wilford George Thompson and Lucille Watson Thompson on July 22, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in Denver, Colorado, where he had a wonderful childhood.
Roger was studious, with a natural affection for reading and learning. After graduating from East High School in Denver, he attended The Church College of Hawaii (which later became BYU Hawaii) and was a tour guide on the island of Oahu. While finishing up his college career studying Business at Arizona State University, Roger met his lifelong sweetheart, Victoria Baughn.
Soon after they were married, Roger joined the Army Reserves. He began his highly diverse professional career managing a fitness gym during college, later becoming a forest ranger at California’s Angeles National Forest. In 1979, after many years working for Fotomat, Roger moved his family to Arizona. In 1980, together with his business partner Bill Biesemeyer, he founded Biesemeyer Manufacturing Corporation. By 1990, he had grown the business to be ranked the 57th fastest growing privately owned firm in the United States.
Throughout his career, Roger sat on several boards and commissions, including the Mesa Expenditure Review Committee. He retired in 1993, after selling his company to Delta Power Equipment, and spent his retirement in Walker, Arizona. Roger and Victoria were sad to move away from Walker, but they eventually chose to relocate to the valley so they could live closer to their children.
Roger was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and actively served in various capacities. Roger and Vicki especially cherished their time serving as missionaries in the Atlanta, Georgia Temple.
Roger was a skilled woodworker, a cyclist, an avid gun collector, had a quick wit, and was a great storyteller. He and Victoria were blessed to raise five children and are grandparents to 20 grandchildren.
Roger is survived by Victoria, his wife of 57 years, and his children: Laura, David (Kristi), Doug (Kristine), Jeanette (Steve), and Sharon (Garron). He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his of siblings: George, Donald, and Linda.
Services will be held Thursday, April 29 at Gilbert Memorial Park at 11 AM with visitation just prior at 10 AM.
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Amie and I have watched your family keenly over the years and have marveled at the love expressed by you all towards your parents–a sign of devotion earned through years of laughter, tears and work. We are grateful your Dad is free from the languishing months he suffered and that your Mom can catch her breath. We offer our prayers for your peace and know that your Dad awaits you all. Big love and hugs.
Steve, please accept my condolences to Jeanette, you and your family for your loss. You guys are in my prayers during this difficult time.
Loved serving with Roger and Vicki at the Mesa Temple. Because we were cousins made it more special. Your dad was so loving and kind. Love you Vicki!
Oh our dear friend. You will be sorely missed. How we value our friendship with you and Vicki.
Sending lots of love & prayers to your sweet family during this hard time. Love, The Bloomers
I send you my love and prayers Vicky. He was such a great man I feel privalIged to have known him. You are missed at the Bradshaw Ward We all love you! May His Grace be with you! Hugs and Kisses.
We pray that you will receive help to make it though this difficult time. We are relieved that the pain and discomfort is over for Roger and he awaits you on the other side of the veil.
known Roger since high school. He was my first roommate at college. Alway admired Roger for his determination and putting forth big ideas and seeing them through to a finish. I’m sure he will be missed by Vicki, his family and many other ….. I know I will miss him. Gary Autrey
We are so sorry to hear about Roger’s passing. Many prayers for Vicki and his family!
Vickie we are just devastated to hear about Roger , our heart and prayers are with you . Please call me when you feel like it. I do not have your phone #. Our # is the same as before, I will write you and give to you, I have really missed you both. Roger was so talented and a wonderful man.
Love Linda and Shad
Sharon, what an incredible legacy of service your father gave! Military Service, Entrepreneur, Forest Ranger, Adventure guide in our families favorite spot— BYU Hawaii! Most importantly he raised an incredible daughter. Thank you for your charity, friendship and Christlike example. I am certain you learned these Christlike attributes from your father. With much Love, Rusty and Ashley Jones
Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you today as you honor your sweet dad. We have wonderful memories of you kids growing up, and of course, with your dad and mom. We love you all, and pray the Lord’s tender blessings to be upon all of you! Much love, Jeff and Linda Pickles ♥
We just learn of Rogers passing. We were shook to the core. We had lost touch with each other after our retirements. Roger and Vicki were good friends and we had exchanged Christmas cards over the years and we still thought they lived in the Prescott/Walker area. Roger was one of our first customers at The Printery and Reflections in Type before we became Hogue Printing Solutionsand this how we met. Plus our sons Jason & Steve were friends with David in their teenage years. We always admired Roger’s love of business, family and building things. We are so sad to hear of his passing. Our love and prayers to your family.