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Roger Kalinowski

January 23, 2019

A celebration of Roger's life will be held at Calvary United Methodist Church Friday March 15, 2019 at 7:00 PM


Boulger Funeral Home

Roger Kalinowski

January 23, 2019


Roger Thomas Kalinowski, 72, of Fargo, ND, peacefully passed away on January 23, 2019 in hospice care at Bethany Retirement Living.
Roger was born on April 20, 1946 to Theresa and Lawrence Kalinowski in Devils Lake, ND. He attended Devils Lake Central High School and graduated in 1964. Following high school, he attended Lake Region Junior College, North Dakota State University, Moorhead State University, and ultimately Minot State University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Roger then earned his Master’s degree in Education at the University of North Dakota. Throughout his life, Roger held various licenses in Literature, Writing, Communication, and Theatre.
Roger taught at Minot High School in ND before he was drafted into the Military during the Vietnam conflict. From 1969 – 1971, he was stationed in Berlin, Germany where he served as Military Police, guarding the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. He also held the position of Entertainment Specialist, using his skills in theater and communication. After his military service, Roger taught at Wahpeton Senior High School for the next 38 years. During his time there, he taught English, Speech, and Theatre and directed numerous plays and musicals.
In 1974, while teaching in Wahpeton, Roger was hired to direct the summer production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at Fort Totten Little Theater. He hired Karen Christensen from Edmore, ND to be the music director. They wed on August 26, 1974 in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Devils Lake. Their family grew with the arrival of their sons Matthew in 1977 and Benjamin in 1979.
With Karen, Roger lived a fulfilled life of teaching school and directing community and summer theaters throughout ND in Fort Totten, Lamoure County, Valley City, Wahpeton, Wyndmere, and Fargo. In 2001, he was invited to the join the faculty of the Institute for Readers Theater and taught RT in London, Toronto, and Chicago. Throughout his career, Roger received numerous awards and recognitions, including Hall of Fame membership into the Communication, Speech and Theatre Association of North Dakota.
Roger is survived by his wife of 44 years, Karen (Christensen) Kalinowski of Fargo ND; two sons, Matthew Lawrence (Stephanie) Kalinowski of Christine, ND, and Benjamin Carl (Gina) Kalinowski of Bellevue, NE; two grandsons, Tanner Carl Kalinowski and Tyler Roger Kalinowski of Bellevue, NE; one sister, Janet Marie (Kalinowski) Drake of Fargo, ND; three nephews, Jason Drake of Fargo, ND, Justin Drake of Fargo, ND, and Joshua Drake of Fargo, ND.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence Vincent Kalinowski and Theresa Mae (Ryan) Kalinowski; grandparents, August Kalinowski and Theresa (Hill) Kalinowski, and Joseph Ryan and Emma (Ziebarth) Ryan.

Roger bequeathed his body to the University of North Dakota School of Medicine.
A Celebration of Roger’s Life will be held at Calvary United Methodist Church, 4575 45th St. S, Fargo, ND 58104 on Friday, March 15th, 2019 at 7:00 pm.


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20 responses to “Roger Kalinowski”

  1. Sister Bernadette Trecker says:

    Dear Karen,
    Please accept my condolences over the death of your husband, Roger.
    My prayers are with you and your family during this time of loss.
    May he rest in peace and may you find God’s strength in these future days.
    In sympathy,
    Sister Bernadette Trecker

  2. Kathy Nelson says:

    Dear Karen, Matt, and Ben,
    I am deeply sorry for your loss. Roger was an amazing, gifted person. He will be sorely missed by many. I am grateful to have been able to know and enjoy him. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


  3. Harriet Turner says:

    Dear Karen, Matt, & Ben…
    My sympathy and prayers… I have Happy memories of both Roger & you, Karen, dropping Matt & Ben off at Trinity Day Care a “few” years ago.
    God Bless you as you walk thru this time of sorrow. Know many ppl hold you in prayer.
    God Bless. Harriet Renville Turner.

  4. L.Gary Anderson says:

    Dear Karen, I was sorry to hear that you lost your husband. You may not remember me, but I met you at The music camp in the Peace Gardens. I was from Sheyenne. I was at a director’s session and you played piano. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Again I am sorry for your loss. L. Gary Anderson

  5. Sharla Laugisch (Stroklund) says:

    I don’t even know what to say, I wish I could send you a hug. He was a great Teacher and Director. The musicals in Wahpeton were never the same after he stopped directing, he had a passion towards theater that I haven’t experienced since. I know many, many students will be sharing your grief and we will all keep you in our prayers.

  6. Lois Berndt says:

    Dear Karen, Matt and Ben and family, I was sorry to learn of Roger’s passing. He was an amazing teacher and always friendly. He will be missed by many. Love and prayers, Lois

  7. Teri and Dennis Smith says:

    Karen and family,

    I cannot imagine how difficult Roger’s death must be for you at this time. I know that he was very well loved and his teaching and directing was excellent. I hope that God’s love will help comfort you now and in the future.
    God bless,

  8. Richard Johnson says:

    Dear Karen, Matt, Ben and families,

    You have our deepest sympathy on the loss of your wonderful husband, dad and grandfather! We have many very fond memories of him throughout the years: as a neighbor when we had frequent contact, including you guys playing together, having birthday parties, etc. It was a privilege to work with Roger for many years in the Wahpeton school system and enjoy his very skillful direction of many musicals along with your talented musical accompaniment, Karen! Also, we think back to many good times at Evergreen United Methodist Church where you played the piano for many years, Karen, and Roger brought drama into the church including the direction of the Last Supper enactment on Maunday Thursdays! Our prayers are with you during this difficult time!

    Margaret and Rich Johnson

  9. Joel Hektner says:

    Mr. Kalinowski was my speech teacher at Wahpeton High School and directed our school plays–I did the lights. I also remember his work in making our small town a better place to live through community theater. He respected students, taught us well, and had a great sense of humor. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  10. Bruce Eckre says:

    Roger was the best teacher I had at Wahpeton High School. He was always a gentleman and knew how to make learning fun.

  11. Deborah Wald says:

    Dear Karen and family,

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Roger’s passing. He certainly fought the good fight here on earth.

    Karen, your devotion and love for Roger radiated from you, whenever we visited about him. While I only met Roger a couple of times, through our conversations, I could tell that he was a wonderful husband, father, teacher and friend.

    Please know that all of you are on my heart and in my prayers. Your strong faith in God has carried you this far and will continue to carry through the coming days.

    Again, my condolences to you.

    Sending you much love,

    Deb Wald

  12. Travis R Johnson says:

    Dear Karen, Matt & Ben,

    I’m sorry for your loss, my deepest sympathy goes out to you all. I will be praying for you during this time.

    Love in Christ

  13. Lisa Stigen Althoff says:

    Dear Karen, Matt and Ben:
    Roger, or as I knew him best, “Mr. K” was my favorite teacher in high school in a number of classes. He was funny, and talented, and made a lasting impression on me, and my view of many things. I later was blessed to call him my friend. He will be missed by many!! My condolences to you, all.

  14. Mindy Miranowski says:

    Dear Karen and family,
    I’m so saddened to hear of Roger’s passing…this world will not be the same without him. I was privileged to know Roger as both a student at WHS and later as a co-worker there. Whenever he stepped in to the high school office, his presence would bring a sense of calm through his demeanor and sense of humor. He genuinely cared about everyone around him, and he put himself wholeheartedly into his work, whether it be in the classroom or in the theatre…nothing was done “just half-ways”, and his productions brought so much cultural value, enjoyment and entertainment to his students and the Wahpeton community.
    You’re in my thoughts, and am sending sincerest condolences, and hugs.
    Mindy Miranowski

  15. Tammy Jasperse says:


    I am so sorry for your loss of Roger! It’s been a long road. I’m praying the Lord will give you comfort and peace, now and in the time ahead.

  16. Paula D. Lindekugel-Willis says:

    Karen-I have never been formally introduced to you but after working with Roger for many years on the Standards for Fine Arts/Theatre and also having been a student at MSU and UND I became well aware of his work and professionalism. His insight,humor and talent was greatly respected and much appreciated. I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

  17. Amy Kratzer, Wolverton MN says:

    I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Kalinowski. You have my deepest sympathy, Karen and family. May you feel God’s peace and comfort during this time.

  18. Roger & Kathy Ivesdal says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family – may the memories help during this time of grief.
    Our sympathy to your family.

  19. Matthew B. Johnson says:

    I have fond memories of Roger both as my neighbor growing up in Wahpeton and as my high school speech teacher who we addressed as “Mr. K.” I was honored on rare occasions to look after Matthew and Benjamin when he was on a date with Karen.
    I’ll always remember that his tall stature, initially a little intimidating, took a backseat to his warm disposition and personality. He was a gentle giant of a man with a great sense of humor and I know he is missed.
    I am blessed to have known him and my family and I express our deepest sympathy to Karen, Matthew, Benjamin and family!

  20. Dave Johnson says:

    He was by far my favorite teacher at Wop…even beating out Bud Schmitz…he sort of taught me that life actually happened after you left High School…I saw his obit but wasn’t informed of his celebration…which to me was Avery sad thing…May you Rest In Peace Nd Dave me a spot in the hereafter…Swede…

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