Roger LeRoy Gustafson

Jan. 24, 1932 – Jan. 22, 2018

TOPEKA — Roger LeRoy Gustafson, Topeka, received his permanent set of wings on Jan. 22, 2018. He was 85.

He was born Jan. 24, 1932, the son of Fred and Mary Gustafson. He grew up in Topeka, graduating from Highland Park High School. He attended Kansas State University where he earned his bachelor of science degree in animal science in 1954.

Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force where he began his career as a helicopter pilot, followed by a fixed wing aviator. He flew missions over S.E. Asia prior to and during the Vietnam conflict, finishing his military career piloting the C-5 Galaxy. He retired in 1974, with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He returned to Kansas to raise Black Angus cattle in Osage County.

He was a member of the township board, KLA, Angus Association and Kansas Republican Party. As a Bible scholar, he was an active member of Central Church of Christ where he taught class, hosted holiday parties, mentored and was always willing to provide counsel.
Though never married, he leaves a long trail of friends and military buddies, all who consider him family. We rejoice in his new set of wings but will miss him dearly.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Feb. 10 at Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel, 3700 S.W. Wanamaker Road, Topeka. A visitation will be held at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. A reception will follow the service at the funeral home prior to graveside services at 1:30 p.m. at Rapp Cemetery in Osage County.

A special thanks to the good people at Aldersgate Village and Great Lakes Hospice for their care and compassion.

Memorial contributions may be made to Tallgrass Christian Camp.

To leave a special message for the family, visit


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