Roger Bechtel

1 June 2021
Roger Bechtel

Roger Bechtel, age 62, died from ALS on May 10th at home in Tucson, AZ. Roger taught Theater at Carleton from 2012 to 2018. He had an impact on many students’ lives as a compassionate and dedicated mentor. He understood his role as an educator to be supporting students in reaching their goals, and he continued to mentor his former students after they graduated.   

In addition to teaching, Roger was also an actor, director, author, and playwright. At age 60, he passed the Minnesota Bar exam and became a public defender in Crow Wing County, MN. A more complete obituary is available online.

Roger is survived by his wife, Christin, and two children. A private ceremony will be held later.

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  • 2021-06-02 20:48:25
    Ron Rodman

    Roger was brilliant, and a great colleague. He was a very enthusiastic participant in the first round of the Carleton Arts and Technology (CArtT) grants and had great ideas for implementation.

    We would kid each other about growing up in our common hometown (Indianapolis, Indiana), and how great it was to be away from there.

    I am sad that such a life was cut short by that terrible disease.

  • 2021-06-12 15:34:09
    Michael Kowalewski

    I was very saddened to hear that Roger has died. While I didn’t have a chance to know him well at Carleton, I always enjoyed and remembered my encounters with him, whether at a Faculty Retreat or shopping at Cub Grocery Store. Roger was an affable, knowledgeable colleague and a remarkably animated and talented actor. I have vivid memories of him, in 2013, as Malvolio in Twelfth Night. (“Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?”) I am grateful for the chance to have known him during his time at Carleton. My sincere condolences to his family.

  • 2021-06-28 00:11:54
    Tina Chen

    I met Roger the summer before he started teaching at Carleton. We met while locked outside of the northfield meditation room. We decided to get coffee and we talked about books, life, almost everything for three hours. Sometimes one just meets a friend like that and the whole time I thought “I’ve been waiting for a friend like you forever!”
    Even though I didn’t take classes with him, we remained friends and would get coffee once a trimester. I trusted him as a mentor and friend and felt safe to tell him about everything. He honored my vulnerability and always replied in gentleness and kindness. After I finically graduated, we stayed in touch to the very end and my last correspondence with him was when he was at hospice.
    I truly felt loved and loved him deeply and considered him one of my dearest of dearest friends.
    May he rest in God’s peace for goodness he deserves it. He fought heart and soul for the betterment of all those around him and lived selflessly in pursuit of this ideal. May he know now that he was a man of Gods own heart.
    It is impossible to describe all his goodness and what he meant to me and so many people.
    He will be loved and remembered to the end of my life.
    I asked him what he would ask of God if he saw heaven and he replied “the best cup of coffee ever”

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