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Roger John Reede

March 8, 1936 ~ June 1, 2022 (age 86)

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Roger John Reede 1936-2022

Roger Reede passed away peacefully on June 1, 2022 at his home in Fountain Hills, AZ surrounded by loved ones.  

Roger was born on March 8th, 1936 in Zeeland, ND to Lauretta (Fischer) and F.E. Reede.

Roger graduated from the University of North Dakota with a PhD in Geology after serving as a public-school teacher and a Park Ranger at Theodore Roosevelt and Devils Tower National Parks. He went on to teach Earth/Space Science for 30 years as a professor at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN (formerly SMSC/SSU).  He loved teaching and engaging with his students and colleagues, many of whom he remained close to long after he retired.

In addition to his classes at SMSU, Roger took on the role of Director of the planetarium and developed a deep and abiding fascination for all things space related. Even after he left teaching, he continued to be active and engaged with his astronomy community and in August 2017, he, along with several colleagues, made his last field trip to central Nebraska to witness the total eclipse of the sun. After moving to Fountain Hills, he had the opportunity to share his extensive planetarium experience by helping guide the early design phase of the Hyperspace Planetarium in the International Dark Sky Discovery Center.

Over the years, he and his wife Karen traveled to many parts of the United States and the rest of world including Great Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Mexico, China and spent a year teaching in Akita, Japan.

Roger never lost his love of learning, exploring new cultures and ideas, and inventing new ways to solve challenges. He always had a project going in his shop and remained both physically and mentally active until the last months of his life.

He was a lover of the natural world and passionately engaged in all manner of outdoor activities from sports as a boy, to hiking, camping, canoeing, cross country skiing, gardening and rock and fossil hunting.

Following retirement, Roger and Karen built a house on Rice Lake near Paynesville, MN next door to their summer cabin.  Roger embraced the Patricia Street community and delighted in watching the change of seasons from their deck overlooking the lake.

In 2013, together with their daughter Susan, they purchased a property in Fountain Hills, AZ on which they built a duplex in 2017.  They relocated to AZ in the fall of 2019 and Roger immediately began to create gardens and paths to connect with the wildlife and natural beauty of their new desert home.

In his later years, Roger developed a series of health issues but nothing seemed to stop him or diminish his enthusiasm for life until his very last days.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years Karen (Larson) Reede, his sister Jane (Reede) Knopp, daughter Susan, son Tim and his wife Genevieve Olive, daughter Monica and her husband Jeff Lund and numerous cousins, colleagues and dear friends.

A private service will be held for the immediate family.  However, we welcome remembrances from all who knew and loved him.  

In lieu of flowers, a donation of any amount in Roger’s name for the Discovery Center’s Launch Crew Program will be accepted at

Or you may wish to plant a memorial tree in his honor through the following organizations:, or any other source of your choice.



You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Roger John Reede
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