RANGE CITY—Shawn Michael Roeder was the only son of Michael and Dianne Roeder. He was born at home in Orange City, Iowa, on Oct. 10, 1984. He attended school his entire life there, graduating in 2003.
He attended Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, their Sunday School, and all their activities growing up.
As a young boy, Shawn was VERY independent. He loved challenging others with his inquisitive nature and intelligence. Shawn’s first job was with The Hatchery Restaurant in Orange City. He loved working there under Denny and Cathy Langel, with a group of great friends. In high school, Shawn enjoyed reading, Chess Club with his friends and Dr. Phil Scorza, and chocolate chip cookies! Shawn really enjoyed taking on challenges. Shawn graduated from the Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon with an applied science degree and had also attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
He joined the U.S. Air Force in 2007, taking his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He was an honor graduate and an expert marksman, graduating in the top 3 percent of his class. He achieved green, yellow and red rope status for his leadership abilities. He also obtained lead white rope status, for his dedication as a chapel volunteer. He immediately served in Aviano, Italy, for two years. While there, he became active in scuba diving and marathons, his most momentous one being the Maratona di Roma (Rome Marathon), running his 26.2 miles past the Colosseum. During his time there, he was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq. He served in the Honor Guard during those six months.
He returned to the States in 2009 and was stationed at Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis. He also served in the Honor Guard at Scott. He then volunteered to serve in Afghanistan, joining a unit out of Langley, Virginia. Shawn was recognized for exceptional meritorious service. His efforts led to the accountability of 114 million small rounds and ammunition. Additionally, he trained and advised the Afghan national police in inventory control procedures, increasing productivity by 30 percent. Additionally, Shawn also supported 65 mounted combat patrols as a tactical driver for the convoy. He was responsible for communication system integrity. For these efforts, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
Upon returning to Scott Air Base, Shawn was recognized for his service to the Air Force. He received the Air Force Commendation Medal for being instrumental in catapulting Air Mobility Commands effectiveness rate to 92 percent, which crushed the Air Force standard of 85 percent. His expertise was vital in the development of training guides and increasing the qualified personnel pool. Additionally, he was able to reduce new procurements for the Air Force by $5 million. These efforts, combined with the rest of this team, were instrumental in their winning the 2011 General Thomas P. Gerryity Award, as the best Logistics Unit in the Air Force and their receiving of an excellent rating for the first time ever in 2012. He had recently been honorably discharged by the U.S. Air Force at the rank of staff sergeant in March of 2013.
He was currently serving in the Active Air Force Reserve and attending McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, working toward his chemistry/math degrees. His goal was to enter medical school and serve again in the Air Force, after obtaining his medical degree. He wanted to do something to greater the good of humanity. His passion was to serve wounded and disabled veterans by further developing prosthesis, to gain greater mobility.
Shawn Roeder, age 28, died unexpectedly Thursday, April 18, 2013, in Lebanon, Illinois.
Those left to cherish his memory are his parents, Michael and Dianne Roeder, two sisters and two nieces, Katrina Roeder, and her daughters, Alexess and Janyeva, all of Orange City, and Tristen, and her husband, Michael Reinier, of Twentynine Palms, California; his grandmother, Eunice Dagel, of Orange City, and his grandfather, Florian Roeder, and his special friend, Dolores, of Mount Vernon, South Dakota, as well as many, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and very close friends, as well as the entire Scott Air Force family.
He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Merle Dagel Sr. and his grandmother, Cleora Roeder-Straughn.
Services were on Saturday, April 27, at the American Reformed Church in Orange City. The Rev. Jonathan Opgenorth and the Rev. Robert De Boer officiated. Interment was at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City, under the direction of the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.
You may express your sympathy at www.oolman.com.