Roger Alan Schmitz, of Lawson Missouri, passed away on May 1, 2024, at the age of 52, surrounded by his loving family in a time of prayer, worship, and thanksgiving. We will praise God and celebrate his life with visitation on Sunday, May 5th, from 3:00 – 6:00 pm at Church of the Annunciation in Kearney, MO, and Funeral Mass at 10:00am on Monday, May 6th, again at Church of the Annunciation. He will be laid to rest at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Stanberry, MO, following Mass.

Roger was born to Raymond and Debbi (Berry) Schmitz on March 26, 1972. At the age of seven, his family moved to a farm north of Stanberry, MO, where he loved the rural lifestyle of faith, family, and farming. While a student at Stanberry R-II High School, he excelled in both academics and sports where he still holds records for achievements in basketball. During his sophomore year of high school, he began dating his forever love, Ellen Showen, whom he married on August 13,1994. Together they raised six sons– the best crop the NW Missouri farm boy ever grew.

Roger graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s in Education in 1994. While at Mizzou, he loved working as a student assistant to the men’s basketball program under Coach Norm Stewart. Roger completed his Master’s Degree in Education at Northwest Missouri State University before returning to Stanberry for three years to teach history and coach varsity boys basketball. He then taught physical education and coached varsity boys basketball in Oak Grove, MO for four years while earning his Education Specialist degree. From 2003-2022, Roger served the Lawson R-XIV school district as assistant principal for one year, assistant superintendent for eight years, and superintendent for 11 years. In all, Roger spent 26 years serving the public schools of Missouri and was often called upon by peers to speak on behalf of public education at the state general assembly. The past year, Roger shared his gifts with St. Pius X High School as Assistant to the President. For twenty years, Roger deeply loved officiating men’s college basketball and inspired many with his ability to continue to run the court while bravely fighting cancer.

When retiring from education he stated, “I’ve been so blessed with a beautiful wife, awesome sons, loving parents, brother, in-laws, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, colleagues, friends, and my referee brothers. They have truly made my life special.” Those who witnessed his fight for life saw the depth of commitment to his family and were deeply impacted by his faith that sustained him each step of the way. Roger and Ellen made the decision to “speak life” when faced with a difficult diagnosis, which became the mantra they shared with others, declaring that he will “live and not die and declare the glory of the Lord!” In the 25 months of that fight, he gave 100% of his energy to his family, friends, and community of faith, sacrificing daily to maintain his determined efforts to remain present in the roles that Almighty God placed him in, without complaint for the constant suffering he was experiencing. While his outer life was fading, his inner life demonstrated a beautiful example of Christ daily to those around him.

Roger leaves behind his wife Ellen of 30 years and their six sons: Andy (Lindsey) of Columbia, MO; Kevin of Colorado Springs, CO; Jayson of Charlottesville, VA; and three sons remaining in the home: Matthew, John, and Trevor. He was the proud Grandpa to one grandson, Henry, the son of Andy and Lindsey. Other survivors include his parents, Raymond and Debbi Schmitz, brother, Doug (Tammie) Schmitz, and many in-laws, nieces, and nephews.