We lost our sweet Rog, much too soon, on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, after a short, but courageous battle with cancer. He was 66. Rog passed away peacefully surrounded by his family in Billings, Mont.
Out of respect for Roger’s wishes, there will be no formal services. With the Roger Askelson Benefit already scheduled on Friday, Oct. 1, the family will be incorporating a Celebration of Life with this event beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the Joe Meagher Civic Center in Cut Bank, Mont.
Roger was born Oct. 29, 1954, in Poplar, Mont., to Ben and Irene Askelson, with whom he shared an extremely close relationship. Up until he got sick, Roger spoke to his mom on the phone daily, sometimes multiple times a day. He was the oldest of five children and his siblings all admired and adored their big brother.
Roger spent his childhood growing up in Cut Bank where he graduated from Cut Bank High School in 1973. During this time, Roger formed lifelong friendships that have stood the test of time.
In 1974, Roger married Barb Murphy and they had two children, Leni and Ryan. They later divorced. In 1986, Roger married his wife of 35 years, Lisa Bjorklund. She had two children, Josh and Jenny Larson. Together they had one son, Reid. They beautifully and effortlessly blended two families and created an amazing life together. Lisa was a devoted wife throughout their marriage and her love for him was never more evident than during these last five months as she never left his side while caring for him.
Roger was a dedicated employee of Northwestern Energy for 35 years. Roger loved music and attending concerts with Lisa. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, golfing, camping, fantasy football, and watching the Packers, Yankees, and Bobcats play. He loved bellying up at a table or keno machine at BJ’s with the best friends a guy could ask for.
To know Rog was to love him. He was humble and kind, loving and gentle, calm and patient. He was quick witted and so funny! Any time with Roger was sure to be a good time filled with lots of laughs. Roger was a friend to all, and his smile was infectious. His mischievous “smirk” often left people wondering what he was up to. He had a way of making people feel genuinely loved and happy.
Roger was an amazing husband, and his kids and grandkids were his pride and joy. You won’t find a more loved dad, bonus dad, father-in-law, or papa. Our lives are better because of Rog and he will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Roger was preceded in death by his grandparents, brother-in-law Bill Newman, nephews Ray and Lance Newman and many other loving family members.
He is survived by his parents, Ben and Irene Askelson; his wife, Lisa Askelson; five children and 12 grandchildren, Leni Sabo (Travis) and Garett, Karsyn and Ashton; Ryan Askelson (Kristi) and Chance and Shay; Reid Askelson (Trisha) and Rilynn and Hayden; Josh Larson (Crystal) and Kendyl and Kaidyn; Jen Paulson (Mike) and Peyton, Hadley, Trey; loving siblings, Mike Askelson (Cindy Sue), Ron Askelson (Rosanne), Debbie Gannon (Dick) and Cindy Jo Roske (Rob); his father-in-law and mother-in-law Gary and Thelma Bjorklund; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.
Roger’s family would like to thank Dr. Lee and all the staff at Billings Clinic Cancer Center, Riverstone Health Hospice and their amazing team, and anyone else that has helped us along this painful journey. We will forever be grateful for all the wonderful care Roger received.