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Roger D. Szurek

December 7, 2023

Roger D SzurekRoger D. Szurek, 73, of Watertown and formerly of Amsterdam, passed away Thursday, December 7, 2023, at Samaritan Medical Center. Roger was born in Amsterdam June 19, 1950, son of Alfred J. and Florence E. (Malicki) Szurek. He attended several schools and colleges, including Notre Dame and University of Plattsburg and received his masters degree in Education. He married Sheila A. Oakes Abare in 2007.

Roger was an English teacher and also served as an assistant superintendent for Indian River School District, retiring after 35 years of service to the district. He was a communicant of Holy Family Church and played guitar in its choir. He loved all music, but was an avid Beatles fan. He very much enjoyed his cats and his dogs.

Along with his wife, Sheila, Roger is survived by his son Dan, Geneva; daughter Sarah, Gainesville, FL; stepson Matt Abare, AZ; brother-in-law Tom Perillo, Amsterdam and his children Thomas Perillo, Jr. and Natalie Gonzales; one aunt and several cousins. He was predeceased by his father, Alfred, his mother Florence Penman, and his sister Sandra Perillo.

Roger's family would like to express their eternal gratitude to his caregivers for their compassion and kindness to him: Heather, Nancy, Katrina, Tracy, Tammy, Ashlynn, Roxanne, Nicole, Christy, and Michelle.

His funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, December 18, at 10 AM at Holy Family Church followed by burial in Glenwood Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown and online condolences to Roger's family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers donations in his name may be made to SPCA of Jefferson County, 25056 Water St., Watertown, NY 13601.


#16 Paula Waselauskas 2023-12-14 17:01
So sorry to hear of Roger's passing. We were Bishop Scully classmates. I pray that time eases your sorrow, and that you find comfort in your memories of Roger.
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#15 Jim DeZolt 2023-12-12 14:53
Condolences to Sheila and all of Roger's family. Roger and I met in high school and became very good friends. Although music was our bond, we spent many hours talking about things ranging from too serious to too funny. He was a deeply thoughtful person who had an equally keen and wry sense of humor. We last met at our 20th class reunion. We sat together that evening and it took barely an instant for our conversation to pick up where they'd left off two decades before. After a year or two of email correspondence, we again went our own way. I still think of him and invariably smile at the thought. True friendship is enduring, regardless of time or proximity. He's always been a friend and always will be.
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#14 Tim Schell 2023-12-12 14:42
I am very sorry to hear of Roger's passing. Roger was a good mentor to me when I entered the profession. I have always appreciated his kindness and innovative spirit. My deepest sympathies to Roger's family.
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#13 Theresa Leeson 2023-12-12 12:40
Roger’s first administrative position was as the principal at Antwerp Primary School when I was a brand new school nurse. He was so supportive and fun too, I have many fond memories of our time together at IR. Rest well Roger, may the angels lead you into paradise.
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#12 John Thompson 2023-12-12 10:59
My deepest condolences to Sheila for the loss of Roger. They were a special couple to me as I did various jobs over the years for them at their house and Roger always had a giving heart.
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#11 Tim Spakoski 2023-12-12 10:37
I attended Bishop Scully High School with Roger. He was a good friend and a real music lover. I am so sorry to hear the news of his passing. My condolences to his family.
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#10 Bob LaConte 2023-12-12 09:59
So sorry to hear of Roger’s passing…he was a good friend…prayers and condolences to his family at this heartbreaking time. Bob & Judy LaConte
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#9 Toni Zygadlo 2023-12-12 09:55
Roger was a special part of the Indian River District Office team. He and Hank were like Batman and Robin.....alway s in the throes of a new project. They had utmost respect for one another and shared some quirky jokes that no one else seemed to "get." He was a good guy - a lover of music - and I will always have fond memories of him.
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#8 Brooke Stark 2023-12-12 09:06
I am saddened to hear this news, and send condolences to the family. Roger was always kind and supportive of me at Indian River when I was new to the district. He had a great attitude and sense of humor.
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#7 John Bintz 2023-12-12 08:42
R. I. P. Roger
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