Roger L. Kozak, 66, of Vermillion, SD passed away Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at the Sanford Vermillion Hospital after a battle with cancer.
Roger was born October 15, 1945 in Lake Andes, SD to John and Louise (Jaeger) Kozak. He graduated from Lake Andes High School and started working on his Business Administration degree when he got the call to serve in the United States Army. He served most of his two years stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, serving as a non-commissioned officer in Battalion Headquarters for the 2nd Engineering Battalion. After his discharge, he went on to receive his Bachelors Degree from Southern State College and a Masters and Doctorate Degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
He married Patricia Patocka on June 6, 1970 in Lake Andes. He served four years as the Director of Research for the South Dakota Board of Regents in Pierre, SD and in 1979 Roger relocated to Vermillion, where he began a twenty-two year employment engagement with USD. Roger served as Special Assistant to the President, Associate Vice President for eleven years, and finally Vice President for six years, retiring in 2002 and was named Professor and Vice President Emeritus.
During his tenure at USD, Roger was actively involved in the community, serving on the Vermillion City Council for seven years and as Mayor for three years. He also served on the Vermillion Chamber and Development Corporation, Junior Achievement, Community Foundation, Dakota Hospital Foundation and the University of South Dakota Foundation Board of Trustees. He was also a member of the Vermillion Rotary Club for over 29 years, serving Rotary in many different capacities on the district and local levels.
Roger is survived by his wife Patricia of Vermillion, and two sisters; Lois (Eugene) Slaba of Geddes, SD and Jane (Ronald) Rada of LaCrosse, WI.
Funeral Mass will be 10:30 AM Monday, August 6 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Vermillion with burial to follow in the Calvary Cemetery in Vermillion. Visitation will begin at 5:00 PM Sunday with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM all at the church. In Lieu of flowers please send donations to the Roger and Patricia Kozak Endowed Scholarship fund at USD or the Roger Kozak Rotary Endowed Scholarship fund managed by the Vermillion Area Community Foundation. hansenfuneralhome.com.