GoodBye Roger…..You WILL be missed.

June 6, 2013

Roger-PictureOn May 29th, 2013, I lost a good friend and the earth lost another great caregiver and protector, Roger L. Duval. Roger was 66 years old and still working strong at maintaining Trails, restoring and doing clean-up at local Parks and bringing local Eagle Lake and Holly History to all of us.

Roger did these things without recognition. And that is how he liked it. The things he did, he did for all of us, and not his own fame, career or notoriety. He did them to benefit all the people. A rare man indeed!


I watched and recorded Rogers efforts to create two separate Michigan Wild Flower Gardens at Holly Recreation area. He ordered the seeds. Not as easy as you may think. There are all types of Rules and Regs. to this task. He prepared the areas by hand and planted the seeds. He then hand nurtured these places for years to get these Native Michigan Wild Flowers to grow and thrive.

FullGardenI attempted many times to write about Roger in the Hiking Michigan NewsLetter, but he refused. So I settled for capturing the results. Not a single picture of Roger was allowed as I was allowed to be a bystander taking pictures of these magnificent Gardens. Just some of the Native Plants that Roger nurtured from seed were: Butterfly Weed, Smooth Aster, Wild Indigo, Harebell, Wild strawberry, Round Headed Bush Clover, Rough Blazing Star, Horsemint, Prickly Pear, Penstemon, common Cinquefoil, Black-Eyed Susan, Little Bluestem, Prairie dock, Showy Goldenrod, Goat’s Rue, Spiderwort and Hoary Vervai.

Roger was part of the Friends of Holly and the Recreation areas Stewardship Liaison. He wrote for the Eagle Lake newsletter and researched much of the History of the area, back to the heavy Native American influences there.

Roger was the guide, organizer and driving force behind a DVD for the Holly Recreation areaHollyDVD called “THE SEASON’S OF HOLLY RECREATION AREA”. Video clips and stills of one of the Natural places he loved and cared for, were assembled representing all four seasons at the Park. The DVD was released in 2007.

How do you replace such a man? Who will pick up his leads? How does one continue the almost secret work Roger was doing for most of his life. I would catch him, alone, out on the Trails, clipping branches and picking up trash. He would act almost embarrassed when I would catch him at work. He did not want it to be known. He just wanted the work done for everyone elses enjoyment.

I will Miss this man. We all will miss his work and caring nature. Mother Earth will miss his care and nurturing.

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  1. That was so nice of you to write the tribute for your friend. As he wanted to fly under the radar in his work, it is nice that he’ll be remembered with this tribute. It’s nice to know people are so generous with their time because they love something and want to share their talents and time for the benefit of others. And its nice to read that someone like you appreciated it and knew the source, and now you have shared his love for others to read and learn about. Hopefully it is contagious and more people will pay it forward to our wildlife and forests also. Jack

    • Thank You very much, Jack. I hope others will see that one does not have to get famous or accolades from their efforts and actions. That Good deeds and helpful behaviour serves many people and in one way or another, will influence others to do the same things. Finding a Maintained, remote Trails will for many people,make them ask themselves…….who did this for me or me and my family. Maybe I too should pick up a few things while I am Hiking. The example is there. Thanks for understanding what I was trying to write about with Roger. That was HIS philosophy. The Example says more then the person doing the deed.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss of a friend, Rob. Roger sounds like a wonderful human being. We need more like him.

  3. What an inspiration and what a wonderful tribute. You’re a good friend, Rob. Danette

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