Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


I visited the Oklahoma City Memorial on August 8, 2004
OKC photo by me in 2004

1. something deisgned to preserve the
memory of a person or event, as a monument.



"It is legitimate to hope that there may be left... the special kind of human mark, the special record of human passage,
that distinguishes man from all other species. It is rare enough among men, impossible to any other form of life. It
is simply the deliberate and chosen refusal to make any marks at all."

- Wallace Stegner


Okay, I need to first apologize in advance - I didn't create this page to honor any particular person, friend, or family member. I put it together because I happened to stumble upon various memorials that I found interesting. That's not to say that if you're a friend or family member that's passed away I won't mention you here - I might if I find it appropriate!

Another thing, I've found some pretty interesting memorials in some pretty unacceptable places - specifically wilderness! So, although I may display a wilderness memorial here I want to discourage everyone from permanently disfiguring, defacing, or attaching things in those few sacred places that we've left as intact wilderness...

- Roger J. Wendell


A Note About Military Cemeteries:

Even before my own military service, I always liked the idea behind military cemeteries in that they're always places of honor that are very egalitarian in nature. All of the headstones and monuments are the same size and configuration - not only do privates and generals have the same kind of stone and plot, but they can be buried side by side as well! And, of course, military cemeteries honor vets of all religious (or non religious) backgrounds, branch of service, ethnic background, gender, or political persuasion. So, I hope that when my time comes (ends!) I can end up in national cemetery!

An interesting tradition involving military cemeteries, since the time of the Roman Empire, is for visitors to leave coins on the headstone. Leaving a coin lets the deceased soldier/sailor/airman's family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respects. Leaving a penny means you visited. A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot-camp together. A dime means you served with the soldier. A quarter is most significant because it means that you were there when that soldier was killed.

After Memorial Day the coins are collected and the money is used for cemetery maintenance, the cost of burial for soldiers, or the care for indigent soldiers. Supposedly the tradition became a little more popular, here in the United States, during the Vietnam war as it was believed to be a way to show respect without getting into an uncomfortable political discussion about a war that was very controversial.




Ed Abbey
1927 - 1989

Although Ed Abbey and I may have been at the same Round River Rendezvous a time or two I didn't actually meet him until March 29, 1988, about a year before his death. He was in Denver for a speaking engagement, at the Denver Public Library, and the Audubon Society asked me to meet with him for the signing of some documents. So, as luck would have it, I was able to meet privately with Ed for the transaction of some business and the signing of my copy of Dave Foreman's Monkey Wrench Gang! - Roger J. Wendell Drawing of Ed Abbey's Resting Place in the Cabeza Prieta Wilderness by ALAW - 2011 The rock reads:

Edward Paul Abbey
1927 - 1989
No Comment

"Cactus Ed" lies in this illegal burial site somewhere in Arizona's Cabeza Prieta wilderness...




(Click on any of this page's "thumbnail" images for a larger view!)


Roger L. Wendell
1934 - 2016

Roger L. Wendell (08/01/1934 - 05/25/2016)
Roger J. Wendell and Roger L. Wendell - circa 2012
Me and Dad in 2012
My father was born in Castlewood, South Dakota to Frederick and Louise Wendell. Like most children, I love my father and miss him very much. So much so that it took me a couple years to overcome my grief so as to begin this entry on my own website!
My relationship with my father was somewhat like the Harry Chapin song, Cats in the Cradle - fathers, sons, and grandsons with busy lives but still caring for each other.
So, although I didn't get to spend as much time with my dad, as I would have liked, we certainly kept in close touch by telephone during the last 40 years of his life. Yes, from my own time in the military, to age 60, I was in close and regular communications with my father. I will be forever grateful for that. And, grateful too, that I got to spend some very good "quality" time with him at the end.
Like me, and everyone else I know, my dad had flaws. But on balance, he was caring, concerned, and compassionate. Even on his own deathbed he was stressing his finances to help his ailing sister and others in need.
In addition to his compassion, my father was the most mentally tough person I have ever known, and I really mean that. However, I don't believe his strength and resolve came from his time in the Marine Corps but, rather, because that was his nature. There were times when I saw him in actual physical danger, or concerned about a financial threat, or even fighting illness or helping a family member overcome an affliction - he never flinched, never. He was mentally strong (and physically, too) and feared no one and no thing.
Besides his toughness, my father was also inquisitive about science and nature - continuing to explore these and other topics with me all of the way up to the time of his passing. As a small boy I have clear memories of him answering my questions about radio waves (I was 5 when I asked him why we could still hear the car radio even though we were away from the power lines...). Somewhere around the age of ten he helped me build a telegraph set out of nails (wound with copper wire and powered by a "D" cell battery) and strips cut out of a beer can that were used as the sounder and sender (many cans were made of steel back then, thus could be pulled to the top of a magnatized nail to make the necessary "clicking" sounds for Morse code - the teacher noted with humor the beer company's logo on the code "key..."). Through drawings and explanations my dad was great at showing me the inner workings of electric motors, internal combustion engines, and all kinds of other mechanical devices. And, as I suggested earlier, he really loved nature and animals - spending lots of time learning as much as he could about nature and the animal kingdom.
In addition to everything above, my father loved his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and his country. He also loved a good story and could remember and recite jokes better than anyone. My father was liked by most everyone and he, himself, was always interested in people. I often think of that old question, "Who, in history, would you most like to talk with for an hour?" I would give everything I own just to have one more hour long conversation with my dad. I really would...


Karel Karásek
1950 - 2001

Karel Karasek (06/20/50 - 08/01/01)
Karel Karásek
Karel was a friend, teacher and philosopher who lived a difficult but interesting life that ended all too soon. The end came in the form of an out-of-control driver hitting him on a dark and lonely Denver night. As a young man, Karel earned a Master's degree in what we'd call mine engineering while at home in his native Communist controlled Czechoslovakia. At around that time he also taught Yoga, underground, something definitely forbidden by the Communists.

Because of his refusal, after college, to serve in the military he was tortured with medications in a Czech mental hospital (admittedly he intentionally aggravated the situation by going on a 5 day fast without sleep, and conducting a number of other protests, before showing up for induction...) Anyway, after a few days in the Communist hospital he found an opportunity to escape, literally walking to Austria while wearing mostly patient's clothing. In Austria he was assigned to a refugee camp that then sent him to a fundamentalist church in the state of Kansas, United States. Karel actually fled the church, by hitchhiking, and ended up living alone in the forests west of Denver until he was able to find work. He often joked to me that he didn't know which was worse, the obligatory prayers or the Communists but was always appreciative of the care and assistance he received from others.

I met Karel at work where we were both employed as industrial MPE mechanicmechanics in the 80s. Like most friendships we spent countless hours exchanging thoughts and ideas on everything from health and love to nature and life. I accompanied Karel on a number of extensive trips that included a 6,000 mile VW microbus drive from Denver to Guatemala and a couple of weeks in Grand Canyon and other wilderness areas. Karel was physically strong, intelligent, and very much a free spirit. I will always miss him...




Steve Gladbach (14ers.com - saying goodbye)
1961 - 2013

Steve Gladbach On June 24, 2013 the mountaineering community learned that my climbing friend Steve Gladbach's body had been recovered from Thunder Pyramid (a difficult 13er) where he had fallen to his death the day before. Apparently he left the group he was with to scout a winter route for a future climb - either falling himself or being hit by falling rock (the coroner's report wasn't clear at the time of this posting). I was invited to join this climb but had to decline as I was in Bolivia at the time (I had climbed Jagged with Steve, Britt Jones and John Froshaug 11 months earlier...). Steve was greatly admired for not only his climbing ability but his gentle manner and helpfulness with other people. His climbing resume still stands as one of the best in the state having climbed over 600 of the Colorado's highest peaks - many in the dead of winter! Steve left behind two daughters, a teaching profession, and dozens of us around the state who have climbed and hiked with him over the years. He is missed by many...




Charlie Oriez
1952 - 2005

Charlie Oreiz Going Away Party - Parker, Colorado July 30, 2005
photo by Roger J. Wendell
Left - Charlier Oriez, Right - Roger J. Wendell
Photo by Susan Lefever
1998 Webby Awards - Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter and Roger Wendell
Me, Charlie and others won this together.
I worked with Charlie, for just over a decade, on activist and web page stuff for the Sierra Club's Rocky Mountain Chapter. In 1998 each of us, on the Chapter's Web Committee, received this nice "Webby Awards" certificate for best use of the Internet for advocacy. I think Charlie had a lot to do with this award, and he certainly was responsible for the recognition the Chapter received, that year, from the Rocky Mountain News as one of the "100 Great Web Pages of Colorado." So, that's how I remember Charlie best - late evening telephone calls asking how to write a bit of code or what would be an appropriate placement for some text or jpg - Charlie always had the answer but helped me learn more by pointing me toward some reference or other site that would expand my knowledge. Charlie, for me, was always supportive in my runs for ExCom or the various resolutions I would propose - no matter how crazy others may have thought the issue. Like so many others, I'll miss Charlie a lot...

On July 30, 2005 a bunch of us environmental and political activist friends of Charlie got together with him for a going away party in Parker, Colorado. Charlie was weak and knew his time was short - nevertheless, he handled the gathering with grace and cheer and was still answering my questions about different projects and web stuff. When we finally had a private moment together, near the party's end, I asked Charlie if he wanted to leave any advice behind for environmental activists? Charlie said, "Tell 'em not to get burned out, do it half-time just like Ed Abbey said." Feeling a little more confident in myself I then asked him what advice he had for people who weren't environmentalists? Charlie said, "Tell 'em to drop dead!"

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for the Littleton Independent obituary for Charlie...




Rich Pearce
1968 - 2001

Rich Pearce at Joshua Tree (11/16/1968 - 07/03/2001)
Photo by Chris Long
Rich Pearce Gathering
Photo by R. A. Wendell
On July 3rd, 2002 we gathered in Rich's memory one year after his passing. In addition to being a great climber, Rich was one of my two very patient IRCS instructors - unfortunately it was a car accident that took him much too early. Anyway, that's his mom, Marian, in the middle with sunglasses up, with the rest of us around her. Chris Long, Larry DeSaules and others put a lot into remembrances for Rich - I'll add those kinds of links as they become available...




Russell Kaelberer
1956 - 2006

Russ Kaelberer NØRK (Formerly WBØIWL)
NØRK (Formerly WBØIWL)
Although Russ and I went to different high schools (I was at Cherry Creek, he was at George Washington) we knew each other pretty well through amateur radio and related activities here in Colorado. In addition to countless "QSOs" (radio conversations) we spent time at each other's station with him even loaning me his entire Drake line at one time. Also, we traveled to Nebraska (with Don Zielinski, KØPVI) for a weekend of radio contesting where the remote location was sure to increase our score. After I left for the Coast Guard I didn't see Rus again until the early 80s when he passed me along Interstate 25, in Denver, waiving a two meter microphone at me - unfortunately I didn't have a rig in my car to answer him with! In 2006 Russ contacted me, pretty much "out-of-the-blue," to chat about the annual amateur radio Field Day test emergency operations that were taking place all over the country. That's the last I heard from him as he passed away unexpectedly just a few months later in October...
I "borrowed" Russ' picture from his bio off QRZ.com - I'm sure he wouldn't mind! This is what Russ wrote on January 06, 2006;

"Hi-just a picture from my part-time job. I do Commercial FM Radio production, and college and NFL games for ABC and ESPN. Also still enjoy HF contesting at WØMU, both here in Colorado and Montana (NA7XX)." 73, Russ - NØRK




Ken Booker
1954 - 2003


Ken Booker Plaque
photo by me

Ken Booker at Chuck's Place - Photo by Larry DeSaules - 02-23-2003
by Larry DeSaules

Ken was climbing with his neighbor, John Brill, when he was taken by an avalanche. On August 7th, 2004 many of us gathered at the plaque Larry Desaules had placed in his memory. You can search the Colorado Avalanche Information Center's site for a description of Ken's accident.

Although I'd been on a few hikes and climbs with Ken I remember him best from when some of us (July 25, 2002 with James Higgins and John Schaphorst), led by Larry Desaules, attempted to climb the fifth Flatiron on what was supposed to be a beautiful moonlit night. Of course the further along we got up the approach the more wet and slippery things became as that evening's sprinkling rainfall "Freshened" things up for us. Laughing and joking the entire way, with much of the banter between Ken and I, we finally regained our senses and turned the group around. Nevertheless, the urge to climb wet, slippery rock in the dark just about overcame all of us! In my climbing notes I described it as a powerful evening despite the failure to gain no more than 10 or 15 feet up the wet rock...




William Pluma Barrios
1957 - 2011

William Pluma Barrios Although I wasn't one of Bill's close friends I knew him well enough, at First Avenue Junior High School (Arcadia), that we took a number of memorable full day bicycle trips together. The ones that stick out the most, in my memory, are when we'd ride our bikes up to Chantry Flats and then walk them up the 10 kilometre forest trail to the summit of Mt. Wilson. From the summit we'd take a wild ride down the Mt. Wilson road, to the Angeles Crest Highway, and weave our way in and out of cars and traffic through La Canada and Pasadena to our homes in Arcadia. Bill loved bicycles and was a walking encyclopedia when it came to Campagnolo parts and components. Bill was one of those wildly interesting and eccentric folks only a few of us have had the privledge of knowing in life. But, sadly as it goes in life, I left Los Angeles with my family in the early 70s and didn't hear of Bill again until his passing on October 12, 2011...
I mostly learned the details of Bill's life and passing from the internet blogs that mentioned him after his death - not only did he leave a positive impression with me, 40 years earlier, but a lot of people around La Cañada appreciated him as well. Sometimes known as "Wild Bill" or "Road Kill Bill," William spent most of his time in and around Hahamongna Park where he talked with folks (including the high school kids), helped people, and left a lasting impression on those in his community living under similar circumstances. It's obvious from the various blog posts that Bill is going to be missed by many - including me.




Doug Hansen
1950 - 1996

Doug Hansen Memorial Close-up
photo by Roger J. Wendell
Doug Hansen Memorial, Kent, Washington
photo by Roger J. Wendell
In the Spring of 2002, while I was near Seattle, I stopped by the Kent, Washington Post Office and photographed their memorial to coworker Doug Hansen. Doug was one of the fallen Everest climbers that Krakauer talked about in his book Into Thin Air.

No, I didn't know Doug myself. But, I feel a certain level on kinship with him as I, too, worked for the Post Office at one time in addition to having done a fair amount of mountain climbing myself...




Some memorials I've discovered
around the mountains of Colorado:

John H. Goff
1919 - 1996

Always found time
to take me fishing.
We miss you.

Found this one on a small metal plaque
attached to a large boulder 1/4 mile up
Grizzly Creek from I-70 near Glenwood Springs,
Colorado. It was a beautiful, peaceful setting
covered by a lush canopy of trees immediately
adjacent the creek.

Quandry Peak, Colorado, 14,265 feet
14,265 Foot Quandry Peak,
Colorado 11/17/02. There
were two memorials up there,
things were getting a bit
carried away in the backcountry...
Kevin Scott Glendenning
Photo by Roger C. Alderson
The plaque reads:

In Memory Kevin Scott Glendenning
May 2, 1959 August 7, 1979
He knew and loved Lumpy Ridge

This plaque is attached to the outdoor
drinking fountain on the edge of the
McGregor Ranch parking lot that provides
access to the Rocky Mountain National Park's
Lumpy Ridge climbing area.




Poetry and Power:

"My mind is entranced
by the majesty.
Deep in my soul
I seek to meet the challenge.
I question my strength, My will
Desire overpowers.
I begin my ascent."

- Melissa Janette Weidman
(I hand-copied this on January 27, 1990 from a plaque on the
Gale Andrews memorial cabin, Second Creek, near Berthoud, Colorado)

"We have to show the enemy that we are serious
about defending what is sacred.
Together we have teeth and claws to match our dreams.
Our greatest weapons are imagination and the
ability to strike when least expected."


- Avalon
Beltaine 1997 Communiqute




Other Memorials and Links:

  1. Abbey's Web
  2. AfterLife - Archiving websites of those who have passed...
  3. Cancer
  4. Caring Bridge - free, life event web page
  5. Creation Theories
  6. Death
  7. Digital Beyond
  8. Digital Estate Services
  9. Dr. Edward Said
  10. Five Wishes - Aging with Dignity (plan and receive the care you deserve)
  11. Hunter S. Thompson memorial (of sorts) at the bottom of my Margy's Hut page...
  1. Legacy Locker
  2. Life
  3. Memory Hole Resucing knowledge, freeing information
  4. People
  5. Rachel Corrie - family memorial
  6. Rachel Corrie - activist memorial
  7. Religion
  8. Spiritual Stuff
  9. Wayback Machine Internet Archives
  10. World of Remembrance - free online memorials
  11. Writing by me...




Back Back to Roger J. Wendell's Home Page...

Web Counter Logo


Abbey | About | Blog | Contacting Me | Copyright | Disclaimer | Donate | Guest Book | Home | Links | Site Index | Solutions | Terms, Conditions and Fair Use | What's Changed or New?
Copyright © 1955 -