Roger Allen Cardwell, age 76, of Mills, passed away May 11, 2022, in his home.
Roger was born January 16, 1946, in Sisseton, South Dakota, to Violet Elinor Lindstrom. He was raised by Violet and his stepfather, Delton Everett Cardwell. He attended North High School in Minneapolis. At 17, he left high school and joined the military on January 24th, 1963. Roger served in the U.S. Army, 101st 82nd Airborne, from 1963-1970. During that time, he completed his basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Afterward, he went to jump school in Fort Benning, Georgia. He did two tours in Vietnam, and he worked under General Westmoreland while serving in Vietnam. After he got hurt, he became Westmoreland’s personal cook. He was honorably discharged from the Army on May 31st, 1970, receiving the 4th highest award, the Bronze Star. He continued to serve his country through the Minnesota National Guard, and when he moved to Wyoming, he served in the Wyoming National Guard.
Roger married Gracia Ann Piechowski on June 16, 1973, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Ortonville, MN. They had two children: Tanya Marie in 1978 and Marc Allen in 1981. Roger moved to Casper in 1979. Gracia and Tanya followed him in 1980. Roger and Gracia would later divorce.
Roger worked as a plumber for a number of years in Ortonville, MN and Casper, WY. Throughout his twenties and thirties, Roger had jobs that were focused on plumbing, heating, A/C and refrigeration. With this knowledge, Roger decided to go to Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington and get a degree in HVAC & Refrigeration. After college, he was the Maintenance Supervisor at the Dick Cheney building in downtown Casper, as well as other federal buildings around Wyoming. He did everything from running the boilers and fire alarms to setting up the Nativity Scene at Christmas.
Roger loved horses. From a young age, he would go to his Grandma and Grandpa Lindstrom’s in Summit, South Dakota, during the summers. He would help put up hay and work the farm. That’s where his love of horses began. This would become a lifelong passion. As an adult, Roger owned numerous horses. His favorites were Junior, an Appaloosa, and Tryann, a Bay quarter horse. Roger enjoyed not only riding horses but breaking and shoeing them. He also loved trailing cattle and sheep. Roger adored living in Wyoming. He helped work various cattle and sheep ranches in the area, fostering his love of the West with his daughter and son.
Roger also loved hunting antelope, deer, elk and moose. It was a pastime he and his son enjoyed together every year they would draw hunting tags. One of Roger’s proudest moments was when he drew his cow moose tag in 1996. He and his son, Marc, went to Bounderant, Wyoming, and completed a successful hunt. Then, in the fall of 2001, Marc drew a tag for a bull moose and on October 2, he too, was successful. Both hunts, Roger and his son packed the animals out on horses.
Roger also enjoyed spending time at hunting camp in the Bighorns, parking at Hunter’s Corral and camping at Soldier Park outside of Buffalo, Wyoming. He and his children would go visit Dave and Sharon Sprung, good friends from Ortonville, there several times a year. His son has fond memories of hunting camp. A motto known to all was “what happens in hunting camp, stays in hunting camp.”
Roger adored old-time country and western music. He would always have it playing. His children fondly remember him listening to Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash. He also enjoyed watching Elvis movies. One of his daughter Tanya’s fondest memories is listening to country music and riding countless hours and hundreds of miles on horseback with her dad. Another fond memory is baking with him. Roger was a fabulous baker. He enjoyed making homemade bread and cinnamon rolls. And finally, Roger could grow anything! He had the greenest thumb around. The last couple of years, he was in charge of growing tomatoes for Tanya to make and freeze pasta sauce for the winter.
Roger met Cheryl Cross, and they enjoyed many happy years together before her death in 2019. They bonded over Fast Action Bingo. Roger enjoyed spending quality time, not only with Cheryl, but also with her children, Travis and Shasta, and their families.
Roger was preceded in death by his mother, Violet, stepfather Delton Cardwell, sisters Judy Elaine Cardwell, Gloria Jean Cardwell, and Jacqueline (Cardwell) Dormady. He is survived by his daughter, Tanya (Jon) Wassink; son, Marc (Nicole) Cardwell; grandsons Brandon, Darrick, and Calob Wassink; granddaughter Baily Smith; grandsons, Owen and Luke Cardwell; Cheryl’s children Travis Cross and Shasta (Justin) McDaniel; Cheryl’s grandchildren Alycia Cross, Wyley (Kellee) Cross, Domino, and Jayde; brothers Larry (Chung), James (Susan), Ronald (Judy), and Delton (Wanda) Cardwell, sisters Mary “Suzy” (Armando) Argumudo and Diane Crouch as well several nieces and nephews, plus numerous friends.
A visitation for family and friends will be held Saturday, May 21, 2022 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at Bustard and Jacoby Funeral Home.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home , 600 CY Ave. Casper, WY 82601.