Karl Bruce Rogge

Karl Bruce Rogge — loving husband, devoted father, doting grandpa, and diehard Montana Grizzlies fan — passed away on September 14, 2016, at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, MT, surrounded by his family — it was a beautiful fall football weather kind of day.

Karl was born March 14, 1951, at Holy Rosary Hospital in Miles City, the son of Otto and Martha (Newman) Rogge. He attended grade school in Miles City, and graduated from Custer County High School in 1969.

After graduation, he attended The University of Montana in Missoula. He spent a year at Miles Community College from 1971-1972, earning his associate’s degree. He returned to Missoula the following year, ultimately earning a bachelor’s degree in Business/Accounting. He met Pamela Kay Holmes in August of 1974, and three weeks after their first date they were engaged. They were married on June 27, 1975, in Miles City. Their daughter Erin Elizabeth was born in 1981.

Upon graduation from The University of Montana in December of 1974, he joined the firm of Rowland, Thomas & Company January 1, 1975, fulfilling his dream of becoming an accountant. He became a partner in the firm in 1982 and continued in that capacity until September of 2015 when he and Doug Benge sold their interest in Rowland, Thomas & Company to the Avitus Group. Karl officially retired on August 21, 2016. He was a dedicated professional, always assuring his clients were taken care of, and he cherished the many friendships made during that time. 

In his youth, Karl was primarily involved in two sports: softball and bowling. His mother, Martha, coached women’s softball in Miles City and was instrumental in starting a little girls’ softball program, with the first field lights installed at Bender Park dedicated as the “Rogge Lights.” Karl and his father, Otto, assisted in whatever way that was needed and he had many fond memories of those times and could still tell you who played what position on the Miles City Women’s Coca-Cola team!

He played softball himself for many years and confused many opponents with his “bat right-handed, pitch left-handed” manner. He became interested in bowling at a young age, keeping score (yes, it was done manually) at the bowling alley while his mother was working in the Kegler’s Club. He continued his involvement in bowling while attending college in Missoula and was a member of the intercollegiate traveling bowling team there. He made many good friends over the years while bowling league and attending bowling tournaments across the state. He missed the sport greatly when mobility issues forced him to quit bowling, but still accompanied Pam to the bowling alley when she was participating. 

As a spectator, he loved watching most sports, primarily more high school and collegiate than professional, and you were sure to find a NASCAR race on at the Rogge household television most weekends. He was loud and vocal as a spectator, often disagreeing with the official’s calls, but that voice was never raised at home to family members. The Montana Grizzlies were a passion, and Pam and Karl were football season ticket holders since 1995.

He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity while attending college and was also active in Circle K, serving as a state officer in the organization. He continued with involvement in the local Kiwanis Club for several years after returning to Miles City. He was a member of the Montana Society of CPAs, University of Montana Alumni Association, Grizzly Scholarship Association, and the Miles City Town and Country Club.

He was especially proud of his involvement as a founding member of the Custer County Educational Foundation, and of his time served on the University of Montana Alumni Association Board of Directors. He was equally proud of his daughter Erin’s involvement on the same boards.

Karl worked hard at his profession and was proud of his work, and while he may not have been able to live out his retirement dreams, he never put work ahead of his family. He never missed a softball game, piano recital or band concert of Erin’s. His family enjoyed frequent vacations on the Oregon Coast and the Black Hills. He and Pam made frequent trips to Missoula while Erin was a student there — sometimes under the guise of attending a football game, but he never missed the opportunity to treat Erin and friends to dinner. His “74GRIZ” license plates were a familiar site on I-90 during the football season, and there were some seasons when Karl and Pam never missed a home game. One special highlight was attending the 2001 Grizzly Football National Championship game in Chattanooga, TN, with Pam and Erin.

He also was a member of the First United Methodist Church.

Karl was preceded in death by his parents, Martha (Newman) Rogge and Otto Rogge, and by his brother Duaine Van Dyke. 

Karl is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Pamela (Pam) Holmes Rogge; his daughter Erin Niedge, son-in-law Tyler Niedge, and granddaughter Halladay Niedge of Miles City; nephews Eric Van Dyke of Prineville, OR, and Jessie Van Dyke of Sacramento, CA, uncle Robert Newman and wife Charlotte of Post Falls, ID, and aunt Linda Rogge of Broadus, many cousins, and numerous friends that Karl, Pam, and Erin counted as family.

Cremation has taken place, and the family will receive friends Thursday, September 22, 2016, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 23, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in the Custer County Cemetery, with a luncheon to follow at the Miles City Town & Country Club. Those attending services are encouraged to wear UM Grizzly school colors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Custer County Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 1092, Miles City, MT  59301 or online at www.ccedufoundation.org for a scholarship in Karl’s memory, or to the charity of your choice.