Jim Rogen, 60, of Walker, Minn., born in Minot, N.D., on Dec. 24, 1952, died suddenly on March 2 in Galena, Ill. He graduated from Murray High School in 1971. He attended Morningside College.
Jim began working with the elderly and the disabled in high school, worked at Montana State Hospital as a caregiver, at Minneapolis Fairview Hospital and Chicago Northwestern Hospital as a mental health counselor. Jim had a therapeutic gift as he was a calming and patient man who accepted and loved people. He believed every person was special and deserved to be treated with dignity, to be loved and to have a place they called home.
Jim grew up in St. Anthony Park and returned there with his own family. He and his wife, Ann, moved to Walker, Minn., in 1996. Jim and Ann built May Creek Lodge Assisted Living in 2000. The following year Jim opened his first group home for developmentally disabled, Shingobee Island Lodge, and a second one later, Summit House. He later designed and built a non-institutional home for individuals suffering from chronic mental illness.
In 2008 May Creek Cottages was opened to serve residents with memory loss. Recently Jim and his son Alex opened a coffee-roasting cottage industry to provide employment for disabled residents and to provide Jim with an endless supply of good coffee.
Jim cast a wide net and will be missed by many. He was preceded in death by his parents, the Rev. Alvin Rogen and Evelyn Clementsen Rogen. His father was once pastor at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church. He is survived by his wife, Ann Noland; sons Alex Rogen and Joel Mensch; and siblings Kris (Grant) Oppegaard, Paul (Linda) Rogen and Lois (Randy) Perkins. A farewell took place at the Blue Water Lodge on March 9.