In Memoriam: Roger Sears, IWLA Executive Board Chairman (1935-2012)
By Bob Chapman, IWLA National President
I knew Roger for 27 years and considered him my best friend. We had a lot of common interests – the Izaak Walton League being the foremost of these. We traveled together to attend meetings and functions all over the country and to England, working with friends over there to help save Izaak Walton’s cottage. We fished together at home in Maryland and further afield in places such as the middle fork of the Flathead River in Montana, the Shoshone River in Wyoming, the Yellowstone River in Montana, and the River Test and Izaak Walton’s own River Dove in England. Roger also enjoyed shotgun sports and dog training.
I do not know exactly when Roger joined the League’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chapter, but he boasted that he had been a member for more than 50 years. During that time, he served in numerous appointed and elected positions, including chapter president from 1967 to 1968. He was very active in the chapter house rebuilding that took place between 1988 and 1989. Roger was also very active in the League’s Maryland Division, serving as vice president and then president from 2003 to 2007, after which he was elected and served as a national director for the League.
Roger became quite active in the League at the national level and was elected in 2005 to serve on the Executive Board, where he was then elected to serve as vice chairman (2007) and chairman (2009) of the Executive Board – a position he held at the time of his death.
Roger was born in York, Pennsylvania. After moving to Washington, DC, he graduated from dental school at the University of Maryland. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving from 1960 to 1962, and then he settled in Rockville with his loving wife Mary, where he established a dental practice. Roger and Mary have one daughter, Margaret, and two sons, Steve and John, along with two daughters-in-law and six grandchildren.
Roger was buried November 26 in Barnesville, Maryland, on a beautiful, sunshiny day, with the birds singing and the cows mooing – just like he would have wanted it.
Roger was my friend and I will truly miss him.