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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

NCIL Mourns the Loss of Roger Frischenmeyer

It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Roger Frischenmeyer. Roger was an Independent Living Specialist at Prairie Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. (PILR), a NCIL Governing Board Member, Chair of NCIL’s Annual Conference Subcommittee, and a friend and mentor to many. Roger passed away at his home on Saturday, August 11. Read Roger’s complete obituary.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingRoger was an Independent Living Specialist at PILR for nearly two decades. During this time, he served on numerous boards, including the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns, the Kansas Disability Caucus, and the Assistive Technology for Kansans Advisory Council. In 2014, Roger won NCIL’s Region VIII Advocacy Award for his outstanding systems advocacy efforts. Chris Owens, Executive Director of PILR, said “Roger believed that everyone has the right to live, love, work and play in the community of our choice, and to that end was quite outspoken. Roger’s passion was working with our youth with disabilities. He wanted them to be proud of being a person with a disability and to be contributing members in the community. Nothing gave him more joy than when a youth he’d mentored came up to him to tell him about becoming employed. His PILR family misses him greatly.” 

Roger wholeheartedly believed in the power of mentoring, and he personally mentored hundreds of youth with disabilities over the years. He was a mentor at the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum, a youth mentor for Reno County Communities that Care, and he organized PILR’s first Disability Mentoring Day in 2001 (and each year since). Just last week, Roger, won the Peer Mentor Award from the Kansas Disability Caucus, which will now be known as the Roger Frischenmeyer Peer Mentor Award. Lou Ann Kibbee, fellow Kansan and NCIL Governing Board Member, said, “He always believed that everyone deserves opportunity and support to be able to live their dreams, no matter who they are or how other people may judge them. Roger never knew a stranger and always offered a hand up to anyone that may need it.”

The Independent Living Movement has lost a kind and passionate advocate and friend. As Roger was a member of NCIL’s Governing Board, his picture will be added to the Wall of Fame in NCIL’s office. Roger will truly be missed by many, and we would like to express our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.

As a way to continue Roger’s work, donations can be made to PILR to support Disability Mentoring Day.

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