A Sacred Moment


Roger Denton Thayer

May 02, 1934 - April 10, 2011

A sweet and caring man...

Roger “Rod” Thayer passed away on April 10, 2011 at the age of 76 after a long and valiant battle with cancer, outliving all of his doctors’ expectations. Born on May 2, 1934 in San Jose, CA to Merritt Denton Thayer and Eunice Margarete Thayer (Quien). Roger lived in Edmonds, Washington for the last 45 years of his life. He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Sharon, his sisters Marilyn Thayer and Patricia Merrill, his sons Brad and Christopher Thayer, as well as two grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Roger split his early life between Seattle and the Oakland, California area. As a young man he lived in the Montlake neighborhood in Seattle, and at the age of 6 used to sneak into UW football games at halftime. Joining the Boy Scouts helped foster a love of the outdoors at an early age. He attended high school in Oakland and was the president of the Toppers high school fraternity. Later, he studied Forestry at Lassen Community College in Susanville, California, where he was the student body president and football team captain.

Roger always enjoyed working with children, and he dedicated much of his life to working with young people who came from troubled backgrounds. For over 30 years he worked at Ryther Child Center in Seattle as a social worker and counselor. Roger often took a group of kids from Ryther to a lake in the Cascades for weeklong camping trips.

Other than his family, Roger’s two main loves were the outdoors, including the family cabin, and UW athletics. The cabin was his happy place – he was known for his “tarzan” yell when he jumped into the Cooper River’s icy cold waters – and he considered the outdoors and the beauty of nature as his church where he found peace and contentment. He was passionate about Husky sports, often saying that he “bled purple and gold,” and he was a football season ticket holder for decades. In addition, he thoroughly enjoyed gardening, often puttering in his yard for hours and actively participating in the Seattle Rhododendron Society.

Roger was outgoing and gregarious and always had a joke or a kind word at the ready. A sweet and caring man, he will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He passed peacefully in his bed at home with his loving wife at his side.


A private memorial service will be held this summer at the family cabin.


Donations may be made in his memory to the Sierra Club.


The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both,
And be one traveler, long I stood,
And looked down one as far as I could,
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the tother, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there,
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay,
In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am going to my own hearth-stone,
Bosomed in yon green hills alone,--
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green, the livelong day,
Echo the blackbird's roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.


TO J. W.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Set not thy foot on graves;
Hear what wine and roses say;
The mountain chase, the summer waves,
The crowded town, thy feet may well delay.

Set not thy foot on graves;
Nor seek to unwind the shroud
Which charitable Time
And Nature have allowed
To wrap the errors of a sage sublime.

Set not thy foot on graves;
Care not to strip the dead
Of his sad ornament,
His myrrh, and wine, and rings,

His sheet of lead,
And trophies buried:
Go, get them where he earned them when alive;
As resolutely dig or dive.

Life is too short to waste
In critic peep or cynic bark,
Quarrel or reprimand:
'T will soon be dark;
Up! mind thine own aim, and
God speed the mark!

Char BarrettTComment