Roger W. Abelson

Roger W. Abelson


He was a chemist who loved poetry, a teacher passionate about his own learning, and an adventurer in his everyday life.  Roger William Abelson died on Tuesday, June 5th, in Laramie.


Born September 6th, 1939, in Minot, ND, to Chet and Evie (McCormick) Abelson, Roger grew up in nearby Stanley, making lifelong friends. He first taught in Minnesota, then flew west in a twin-engine plane–barely clearing the summit–to Laramie.  First at UW Prep, later at Laramie High School, and finally at the University of Wyoming, Roger taught science for over forty years. In his remarkable career, he taught in Laos, traveled Wyoming as a science educator for the WDE, and earned his doctorate, shaping teaching and learning wherever he was.


With a deep love of science and a belief in the transformative power of education, Roger’s legacy is to his family, students, and community. He saw in others what perhaps they could not see in themselves, mentoring students, colleagues, friends, and strangers.   An avid runner, carpenter, conversationalist, motorcyclist, Boy Scout leader, cyclist, skier, and fly fisherman, Roger refused to allow Parkinson’s Disease to limit his adventures.


Roger will be deeply missed by his wife, Charlotte (the luckiest woman alive), his sisters Helen Anne Olson, and Frankie Edberg, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins, extended family, friends, and countless students.


A celebration of Roger’s life is planned for August 18, 2018.


Memorials may be made in his name to Hospice of Laramie.

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Condolences (21)

  • Anne Hokenstad

    Roger Ableson was my high school environmental chemistry teacher. He was always enthusiastic and supportive. The world was a better place for his presence. Peace & love to his people.

  • Clyde & Sherrie Merrow

    We are so thankful that we were able to spend time with Roger and Charlotte and that they were willing to share their part of Jelm with us... we will miss Roger, especially at Christmas when he was the best Santa Claus at the Woods Landing celebration!

  • Trevor Valdez

    I'm sorry to hear of your we're my Chemistry teacher. Thank you for everything thing. My sincerest condolences to your family and friends. Trevor Valdez

  • Elizabeth Mason

    Roger was a colleague, a confidant, a hiking, skiing, biking buddy, who was like an uncle to my children, and one of the most sensitive and emotionally in tune men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. He helped me through rough times, and we laughed our way through a lot of fun adventures. He taught me many valuable life lessons, and I will be forever grateful for his true friendship.

  • Thoro Constantinides

    Rog was my chemistry teacher at Laramie High. He was a memorable teacher, both for his personality and for his commitment to all of us. I learned a lot from him, and he will be missed.

  • Vicki

    What a wonderful Teacher he was at Laramie High, he will be truly missed. A great friend of mine also. My sincerely deepest sympathy to the family. Vicki Heinrich.

  • Paul Weaver

    Roger was a great guy, he and I had a lot of fun at the UW basketball games or an occasional movie these last few years. I will always remember what a blast we had watching the Pokes. He was knowledgeable about so many things but I enjoyed talking to him about fishing the most. You shall be missed.

  • martha pheneger

    so sorry for your loss. roger was such a fighter and you were right there with him charlotte! martha pheneger

  • Terri S. Erdman

    I was lucky enough to get two years of science from Dr. Abelson. He made a difference the lives of his students! May he soar above the Universe!

  • Deb Formento

    Charlotte & Family, I came to Roger as a college student greatly struggling with Organic Chemistry and he opened a new door to my learning and life. He truly gave new meaning to the term lifelong learner. His curiosity, class and compassion will never be forgotten. A true class act. Charlotte, may your memories hold you close in heart and .get you through this difficult tine. Roger will not be forgotten.

  • Terrialee Lankford

    I never had the pleasure and privilege of being Roger's student, but he was a fine friend! We had great conversations about science education, fly fishing, and other fascinating things. I always appreciated his perspective and humor!! His courage in facing Parkinson's was inspiring! I hadn't seen him in recent years(my loss), but he will always be one of my favorite people!! My condolences to you, Charlotte and family.

  • Amber French

    my sympathies and prayers for mr abelsons family. he was a great teacher. kind, humorous, conscience, and all around good man. may he rest in God

  • Kathleen Oxford

    Mr Abelson was my science teacher at Prep and also Laramie high I know he tought science but he also tought life and the belief you could do anything you set your mind to do You will be missed

  • Barbara Brunett Ramsey

    Last time I was in class with Roger he promised me 15 points extra credit,. That would have put me from a B+ to an A-. He never gave me the extra points, and I will always love him dearly because of it. I never earned the points, and didn’t deserve them. But, I plan to pursue him into the afterlife for my extra credit and chance to thank him for being my favorite teacher.

  • Joe Cor

    Mr. Abelson was a very contientous teacher who cared deeply about his students, not only in regard to the subject he was teaching but in their overall development as young men and women. His altruism extended to serving in the Peace Corps and being a Boy Scout leader for many years. It was my privilege to have been his student at University Prep and Laramie High.

  • Anonymous

    I remember many aspects of Roger's life, but most I remember him as a great scoutmaster. He was very involved with the boys and strived to help us learn something. He instructed me on bird study, chemistry and electricity merit badges and he made sure I was learning something - not just a notch in my merit badge list! Rest well Roger, you made a difference. Ken Rehmeier

  • Jay Bress

    Roger was my high school chemistry teacher. I had my appendix out that year, and Roger came to the hospital dressed as Merlin the Magician. He brought that day's lesson to my room. He was a very special man, and will be missed.

  • Donald Shoefelt

    It was with great sadness that I learned of Roger's passing. Please accept my heartfelt condolences, and I hope that in a small way it help you through these trying times. I worked for several years with Roger and enjoyed knowing him. Don Shoefelt LHS Math Dept.

  • David Ellsworth

    All that and a damned good pool player (on a good day)!

  • David Johnson

    Roger was my science teacher at University High School in the late 1960's. What an inspiring teacher and mentor he was. The world lost a great man, but he will always live on in our memories and our hearts. RIP Roger, and sincere condolences to his family. I know how he will be missed.

  • Mary arnold

    A wonderful tribute ro a life well lived.


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