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Roger Allen Vitse

Fri, Jun 14th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Obituaries

Roger Allen Vitse

Roger Allen Vitse, 80, a lifelong Rushford, Minn. resident, died Monday, June 10, 2013 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home in Rushford. Roger was a kind and gentle man who always made you feel special no matter who you were. He had a deep love for his family and enjoyed spending time with them. His many friends remember his great sense of humor and his quick wit. He could truly make and fix about anything.

Roger was born April 19, 1933 to Henry and Florence (Johnson) Vitse. Upon graduating from Rushford High School in 1951, he enlisted in the Army and served overseas in France until 1954. He met Joan Erdmann in 1955, and they were united in marriage on a chilly winter evening on January 4, 1958 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hart, Minn. Roger was a member of St. Mark Lutheran Church. He assisted on the building committee and was a past church board member. In his younger years, Roger worked road construction and for Rushford Plumbing and Heating with his father.

A true outdoorsman at heart, Roger enjoyed deer, pheasant, coon and fox hunting, fishing, and collecting arrowheads and other Indian artifacts. He also loved restoring antique cars and tractors, an obsession he shared and passed down to his sons. He enjoyed reading books on the Civil War, playing cards with friends and playing endless “competitive” games of cribbage with his wife.

He was diagnosed in 1964 at the age of 31 with transverse myelitis. This limited and affected his entire life.

Roger is survived by his wife of over 55 years, Joan Vitse of Rushford; sons, Nathan (June), Eric (Cindy), Ryan (Beth) and Christian (Michelle) all of the Rushford area; grandchildren, Jordan, Bailey (Justin) Rasmussen, Alysha (Ben) Mohs, Tyler (Kayla Nelson), Jacob, Maggie, Riley and Morgan; great-grandson, Bennett; sister, Rebecca (Phillip) Rislove of Harlingen, TX; brother, Millard (Clarice) of Rochester, Minn.; many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Jerome; and infant sister, Helen.

Visitation was held on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at Hoff Funeral & Cremation Service in Rushford and also one hour prior to the service at church. Memorial service was held on Friday, June 14, 2013 at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Rushford with Reverend Merlin Stephan officiating.

The family prefers memorials to be directed to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home or St. Mark Lutheran Church.

Please share a memory of Roger with his family, sign the online guestbook, and view his video tribute when it becomes available at

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