We can't believe it's been a year since Roger was tragically killed by a distracted driver, who was on a cell phone. Roger was biking from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville Beach, FL to build awareness and raise funds for the victims of the 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Spill. We are honored that more than 20 Pensacola area cyclists will gather on October 6, 2011, to honor his legacy and help us finish Roger's remaining 300 miles, ending with a tire dipping on October 9th in the Atlantic ocean.
Roger Wayne Grooters, 66, died on October 6, 2010 during his mission to cycle from Oceanside, CA to Jacksonville, FL when a motor vehicle collided with his bicycle on Highway 20 just west of Ebro, FL.
Roger was born on April 11, 1944 in Melvin, Iowa to the late George and Leone Grooters. A long-time athlete, Roger was an avid runner and collegiate track coach. After earning a PhD in Educational Administration, he devoted his career to building student academic programs for athletes at several major universities including, Nebraska, Florida State, Michigan State, Southern Cal, LSU and Arizona. Roger retired from the university system in 2008 and lived at his home in Gulf Breeze, FL with his wife, Vicki.
Roger took his same work ethic and dedication into retirement and combined this with his passion for cycling. On September 10th, he began a journey to bike across America in hopes of raising awareness and financial support for the victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill. Although his journey was tragically cut short, he managed to raise $12,000 through his church, Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church.
His passion for cycling was only exceeded by the love for his family. Roger "Papa" is survived by his wife Vicki, his seven children, Kol, Lisa, Josh, Jon, Mark, Ben, Steve and 11 grandchildren. He was a beloved brother to Bev, Buck, Buzz, Lynne and Sue.