Nov. 18, 2021

Roger Dean Klinghagen, 78, of Hutchinson, passed away Nov. 18 at Bethesda Grand in Willmar. Memorial service was Saturday at Vineyard United Methodist Church in Hutchinson. The Rev. Sara Hein officiated. Organist was Lori Pagel. Special music was “Because He Lives” by God Gave The Song. Readers were Sierra Arradondo, Jacob Klinghagen and Casey Klinghagen. Congregational hymns were “In The Garden”, “Amazing Grace” and “Here I Am Lord”.

He was born on March 18, 1943, in Lennox, South Dakota, the son of Lester and Bernice (Reiners) Klinghagen, and the stepson of Wilfred Wilts. Roger was baptized as an infant, and later confirmed in the Christian faith at Germantown Presbyterian Church, Chancellor, South Dakota.

Roger graduated from Lennox High School in 1961 and continued life-long learning in business, electronics, public speaking, and religion. He joined the U.S. Navy in the fall of 1961 but received medical discharge for hearing loss shortly after arriving at basic training.

On July 18, 1962, Roger was united in marriage to Marie Syrovatka at the First Christian Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They shared 59 years of marriage and were blessed with two sons, Justin and Jason. Roger and Marie also fostered her two brothers, Dean and John. They resided in the Hutchinson area for more than 50 years.

Roger began working from an early age on the family farm, then construction, sales and management. He was brought to Hutchinson with Continental Oil to manage one of their early station stores. In 1969, he became a business owner with “Klink’s North Star Station” on Main Street in Hutchinson and later Crow Chemical and Lighting on Highway 12 East, in Willmar. He enjoyed sales and accounting and had a great love for people.

Roger was a sports enthusiast. He played high school football and American Legion baseball. As an adult he bowled, golfed, played softball, volleyball, and broomball. He hunted, fished, and enjoyed the wildlife on his hobby farm. He also coached a South Dakota women’s softball team and his sons’ youth football teams.

He was one of the organizers of the local BPO Elks Lodge and was a state director and advisor for their “Hoop Shoot” free throw contest. Roger was active in Vineyard United Methodist Church, serving in many areas and as Lay Speaker. He became the District Director of Lay Speaking, and then the State Director, going on to help organize the United Methodist National Association of Lay Speakers, serving as its first president. Roger received many awards for his organizational leadership.

Roger loved music and young people. He led “God Gave the Song” music ministry, leading worship services all over the state. Roger provided adult leadership for the Bear Lake Beavers 4-H Club and coached their softball team. His happiest moments came with being a dad and grandfather.

Roger began a second career late in life as chaplain for Ecumen and Meeker Manor in Litchfield. His faith in Christ enabled him to serve his community in a new way, which impacted the lives of many. His humbleness, kindness, and friendship will forever bless us.

Roger is survived by his wife Marie Klinghagen of Hutchinson; sons, Justin (Leia) Klinghagen, Jason (Dani) Klinghagen; grandsons, Jacob and Casey Klinghagen; step granddaughter, Sierra Arradondo; brother, Rodney (Arla) Klinghagen; sister, Barbara (Charles) Stewart; step siblings, Jerry Wilts, Lee (Carol) Wilts, Wendell (Denise) Wilts, Patty (Stan) Ainsworth, Barbara (Greg) Deville; brother-in-law, Alvin (Terri) Steever; many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Bernice Klinghagen; sisters, Gloria Steever, Darlene Klinghagen; stepfather Wilfred Wilts; stepbrother Jim Wilts; niece Paula Steever; foster sons, Dean and John Syrovatka.

Arrangements by Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book available at