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By David Knopf, News editor
Roger Slusher, a lifelong Lexington resident and teacher who immersed himself in historic preservation, visited River Reader Books in June, proprietor Pat Worth recalls.
“We’ve known him since we opened the store,” said Worth, who lives in rural Ray County. “Roger was a longtime resident and he was always a good patron of the book store. He was a real book man.”
Slusher, president, director and board member of several historic groups, liked to schedule meetings in the book store, a comfortable meeting place with coffee drinks, snacks and Pat’s sweet treats. During his June visit, however, he complained his back was bothering him.
Although it wasn’t immediately diagnosed, his discomfort was related to a cancer that had mestasticized from his pancreas.
“He was gone five weeks after I talked to him,” Worth said.
The timing not only caught people by surprise, but came July 4 – just 25 days shy of the publication of “Lexington,” a photo history Slusher, 66 at the time of his death, prepared that drew on the photo collection of the Lexington Historical Association.
Worth told editors at Arcadia Publishing that she would honor Slusher’s memory with a combined book release and remembrance in August. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to the historical association.
The book is part of Arcadia’s “Images of America” series, an offshoot of the company’s focus on local and regional history. The 128-page book, including Slusher’s four page introduction to Lexington’s history, retails for $21.99.
Slusher, a master’s degree graduate in history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, taught at Wentworth Military Academy for 33 years and for the Malta Bend public school district for three years before retiring.
His survivors included his wife, Sandra, a sister, Sally Nadler and her husband, and other relatives.
River Reader and the historical association were still discussing a date for Slusher’s remembrance at press time.