June 7, 2023

In Memoriam: Roger Topliff

Roger J. Topliff passed away at his home in Louisville, CO on October 26, 2019 of congestive heart failure. He was born in Eaton Rapids, MI on June 19, 1932 to Rolland J. and Gienevieve Lane Topliff. He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Mason High School. He then went to Michigan State University and served in the U.S. Army. Roger was first and foremost a very talented musician. He held a Master of Music degree from Michigan State University and truly was a master of the clarinet and saxophone. His friends and fellow musicians gave him rides to his gigs and he continued to perform into his 80’s. He was also a music teacher and mentor to many of his students. Roger also set up an endowment fund at Michigan State University for scholarships in the MSU band program. Roger was married and divorced twice, but had no children. He lived twenty-five years of his life with his partner and companion, Irene Willis who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his sister Marilyn (John) Boyne. He is survived by his niece Joanne (Dan) Ford, his nephew James (Deborah) Boyne, his grandnieces Jennifer (Charles) Castles (and their children Madelyn and Susannah) and Melissa (David) Hiserote (and their children Tyler and Ella). Roger will be remembered for his quick wit and outgoing personality. He will be missed by his many friends in Boulder and in the MSU community. We wish him Godspeed on his journey. A memorial service for Roger will be scheduled at the Crist Mortuary Chapel in the near future.