Roger K. Wadsworth, 87, of Dresden entered eternal life in his home August 28, 2019.
Family and friends may call from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 135 Hamilton St., Penn Yan, with a celebration of life service immediately following. Burial with military honors will follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Dresden. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Masonic Lodge Brotherhood fund, c/o the Seneca Lake Masonic Lodge, P.O. Box 308 Dresden, N.Y. 14441; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 135 Hamilton St., Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527; The Yates County.Humane Society, PO Box 12, Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527; or the Boy Scouts of America, troop of your choice.
Roger was born Sept. 18, 1931 in Rochester. He was the son of Frank and Bernetta Wadsworth and brother of Robert, Frank, and James Wadsworth. His family moved to Dresden in
1944 when Roger was 11 years old. He graduated from Penn Yan Academy in 1949 and recently
attended his 70th reunion there. After graduating high school, Roger earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One of Roger’s greatest accomplishments was following in his father’s footsteps as a mechanical engineer. In 1954, he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy. He reported to the USS Power and served in the Mediterranean Sea during the Cold War.
Roger was awarded the Naval Commendation Medal in 1972 for his meritorious service as the officer in charge of 50 naval reservists during the flood operations in Elmira-Corning. His efforts provided desperately needed assistance to the community and hundreds of individuals. He retired as a Navy Reserve Captain in 1978 after completing many years of reserve service in Horseheads. It was with great pride that Roger continued his family legacy with service to his country. All who knew Roger have heard his stories, seen his photographs, and could feel the pride he had in his service.
In 1954, while still commissioned in the U.S. Navy, Roger partnered with a professional team and founded the engineering firm Personious-Wadsworth-Moulter in Horseheads. Roger was known as a technology pioneer and visionary. His firm was involved in building projects across New York state and developed computer-aided design systems well ahead of their time.
Roger presented to Congress and hosted numerous delegations from Japan to demonstrate this advanced technology. Roger’s firm also developed and designed some of the original computerized energy control systems commonly used in buildings today. In addition, he was the president of APEC (Automated Procedures for Engineering Consultants). Roger retired in 1995 with great satisfaction in his professional accomplishments.
In 1960, Roger married the love of his life, Gail L. Norman in Elmira. Together they raised their children, Robert and Jennifer. From 1964 to 1986, they lived in the home Roger designed and built in Horseheads. At that time, the family moved back to Roger’s childhood home in Dresden, where he once again became actively involved in his community. He was an active member of the Penn Yan Kiwanis Club, the Free and Accepted Masons of Dresden (Lodge #308), the National Society of Professional Engineers, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Roger utilized his professional knowledge volunteering for many years to recreate and build historical airplanes at the Glenn Curtis Air Museum in Hammondsport. Roger and Gail were blessed with 49 years of marriage until his beloved wife passed on Aug. 31, 2009.
Roger’s later years were joyful, and he loved life! He was a truly content and independent man. He spent his days enjoying simple pleasures including visits and many road trips with his son and time with his daughter and grandchildren. Roger also cherished his faithful dog Mugsy and his many friendships. In addition, he enjoyed his beautiful backyard, feeding the birds, daily workouts at his local gym, reading, music, and cheering on his favorite team, the Mets.
A heartfelt, special thanks is extended to Diane Segura and John Fenton who provided Roger with unconditional love, friendship, and attention throughout the past three years.
Roger is survived by his daughter, Jennifer (Timothy) Smith; his granddaughters, Grace and Eva Smith; his grandson, Owen Smith; his sister-in-law Bonnie (Fred) Welch; several nieces, nephews, and their children. Roger is a loved man who touched many with his generosity, endless stories, laughter, kind nature, and immeasurable faith. Roger’s legacy will forever be treasured.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at www.townsendwoodfuneralchapel.com.