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Resident Highlight: Rodger M.

Portrait of Kensington Park Senior Living Resident Rodger MRoger M. was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The love of sports which he acquired at an early age would stay with Roger throughout his life. Baseball was his first love. Roger attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, where he developed his athletic skills as a pitcher on the baseball diamond. While a student, he also worked on the sports desk of Bloomington’s Daily Pantagraph, where he developed a lifelong passion for writing. After graduating from college he signed with the Chicago White Sox for $1,000 and was sent to the team’s Class D farm club in the Old Wisconsin State League. After a short stay in the minor leagues, Roger was released with a lifetime of memories and a few dollars in his pocket. Roger tells the story of his last outing, during which the coach put him in and he played the game of his life. Returning to the dugout after notching the win, Roger asked the coach whether he wanted to change his mind. His coach was unpersuaded. “No, we’re still releasing you,” he told him. But Roger smiles today, proudly knowing that he went out a winner!

The U.S. Army, on the other hand, was more than willing to have Roger join their team, drafting him in exchange for $42 a month, plus room and board. During his two years in the service, he rose to the rank of private first class. After his discharge in 1953, he returned to the Pantagraph sports desk. He soon switched to straight reporting and later became the city hall correspondent. He left the Bloomington paper in early 1960 to write for the Milwaukee Journal before going to work for Wisconsin Governor John W. Reynolds as his press secretary. Sadly, his job ended when Governor Reynolds failed in his bid to become the Democrats’ 1964 presidential nominee.

Roger’s writing skills from his days at the news desk underwent further evolution as he later took to his typewriter again to author two novels and a memoir! Having finished one of his novels at the age of 88, he has not given up hope of one day having his work published! Roger is a legend here at Kensington Park and is known by many of our residents. We are so lucky to have him as our neighbor and friend.