Cover photo for Roger Casós's Obituary
1929 Roger 2023

Roger Casós

December 23, 1929 — November 22, 2023

     Roger Manuel Casós Bellido was born on December 23, 1929, in Arequipa Perú, and passed away on November 22, 2023, in Sandy, Utah. He was the oldest of ten children born to Manuel Aristides Casós and Rosa Isabel Bellido de Casós, six of whom survived to adulthood. Roger attended San Francisco de Asís Catholic High School in Arequipa and graduated from the National Agrarian University La Molina in Lima as an Agricultural Engineer.

After graduating from La Molina, he assumed operational control of the family ranch, La Hacienda Cabanillas, in Juliaca, Perú, which he managed for about 10 years. It was around this time that he converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following in the footsteps of his brothers Rómulo and Rodolfo. He immigrated to the United States in 1965 to further his education, leaving his daughters Lourdes, Jenny, Roxanne, and Hilda in the tender care of his family who remained in Perú.

He arrived in Provo, Utah with “$8.17” in his pocket to pursue a doctoral degree in Agricultural Engineering from BYU. During his time there, he and his brothers were recruited to teach Spanish to new missionaries at the Language Training Mission (LTM), precursor to the Missionary Training Center (MTC).

A pivotal moment occurred in 1968 when Perú underwent agrarian reform at the hands of the governing military junta. Overnight, the family’s hacienda, and the haciendas of thousands of other Peruvian landowners, was nationalized and the family fortune was lost. This event changed Roger’s career trajectory and life forever. Recently married, he and wife Karen J. Larkin, who had planned to return to Perú to manage the hacienda, chose to remain in the United States. They had four children together: Julie, Elizabeth, Steven, and Robert.

Despite the loss of the family hacienda, Roger proved to be resourceful and resilient, and as it turned out, he was a naturally gifted teacher beloved by the young missionaries. On the advice of his mentor Bruce R. McConkie, for whom he worked as a Spanish Instructor at the LTM, Roger changed his educational focus to teaching. After graduating with a master’s degree in Spanish, he spent the remainder of his career as a professor of Spanish at Murray State University (MSU) in Murray, Kentucky, followed by 20 years as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Roger became a naturalized US citizen in 1978 and retired from teaching in 1998. He and his second wife, Julie Gae West, moved to West Jordan, Utah, where they both lived the rest of their lives.

Roger had families in Perú and the United States. He is survived by his brother Reynaldo María (María “Marucha”) Casós, his children Lourdes (Steven) Paul; Roxanne Casós; Hilda (Miguel Rivera) Casós; Julie (Evan) Taylor; Elizabeth Draney; Steven (Holly) Casós; Robert (Theresa Bruno) Casós; 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He also shared a multitude of loving memories with nieces, nephews, and cousins. No matter how you were related, or not related to him, you were family.

Roger was preceded in death by his wife Julie Gae West Casós (2015), daughter Marcela Rosa Jeanette “Jenny” Casós (1976), and siblings (listed in birth order): Julia Elena Casós de Pacheco (2008), María Isabel (1931), Rodolfo Máximo (2008), Rosa Marina Alaina (1944), Rolando José (1944), Carmen Rebeca Carmela (1938), Ramiro “Michel” Wigberto (1991), Rómulo Jesús (2022), and Roberto Melecio (2009).

Roger was an expert storyteller and the life of the party. He loved meeting new people every day and would talk with anyone, much to the chagrin of his children. He enjoyed visiting with friends and neighbors and celebrating life’s joys with those around him. He was supportive and extremely proud of his children’s and grandchildren’s pursuit of higher education. “Professionals!”

Roger was a long-time Mason, first joining as a young adult in Arequipa and later becoming a member of the Winnemucca Lodge. He was also a member of the Lions Club in Winnemucca, Nevada. He thoroughly enjoyed serving his fellowman through membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Masons, and the Lions.

A public viewing will be held from 11:00 to 11:45 am Saturday, December 2, 2023, with funeral services and interment immediately following. Viewing and funeral will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel located at 2925 E Bengal Boulevard (7800 S), Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Interment at Memorial Mountain View Cemetery, 3115 E Bengal Boulevard, Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Those wishing to livestream the service may do so at the following link:

Meeting ID: 851 3421 2113 
Passcode: 027632
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Viewing

Saturday, December 2, 2023

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, December 2, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

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