Roger Joseph Lauen | PASSAGES

Roger Joseph Lauen -
Roger Joseph Lauen
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Roger Lauen passed away on Dec. 12, 2013 at the age of 74.

He was born April 25, 1939 in St. Paul, Minn. to Harry and Catherine Lauen. He graduated from Humbolt High School, joined the Army for two years and then returned to enroll in the University of Minnesota. He went on to receive his doctorate in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, then spent the rest of his years traveling extensively and living in a variety of places including different parts of Colorado, Arizona, Mexico, Panama, Oregon and Washington, most recently on Bainbridge Island.

Roger was a lifelong advocate for social justice, beginning with his participation in the Freedom Summer of 1964 in Mississippi where he helped register voters and support the efforts of the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee. He worked as a community organizer in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Columbia, South America. His professional career was primarily dedicated to community corrections, including working to pass legislation in Colorado to create community-based programs for non-violent offenders. He served as Colorado’s first Director of Community Corrections, and advocated for a fair and efficient criminal justice policy.

In his retirement, Roger continued to be involved in many volunteer efforts at the state and local level, including public financing of elections and health care reform. He also served on a number of boards on Bainbridge Island and most recently, was instrumental in creating the Bainbridge Island Community Woodworkers which has now evolved into the more encompassing artisan center, referred to as the BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network).

Roger was an avid  tennis player, sailor, softball player and woodworker. He gave 100 percent to everything he did. Roger’s sense of  adventure, his humor, his joie de vivre, will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Roger was preceded in death by his daughter, Sarah Lauen. He is  survived by his loving partner and best friend, Jane Clayton McCotter, whom he met and married in Denver, Colo. 25 years ago. He is also survived by his son Douglas Lee Lauen, (wife Joanna); grandchildren Tessa and Harper Lauen; stepchildren Shauna and Devin O’Toole; and sister Barbara Wylie.

Donations in Roger’s memory may be made to the project he was most passionate about, the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network, 221 Winslow Way West, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 (

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