Roger Craig Day 1947-2019 transitioned from this life July 18, 2019. He was born September 29, 1947 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Henry Miller Day and Natalie Carlquist Day. He married Julie Sondrup December 28, 1973. Roger was never constrained by convention and had unique perspectives on the world, his career, and his family.
Early in life he developed a strong sense of justice and moral behavior. This sensibility drove political activism that started at Olympus High School and continued through his years at the University of Utah. His perspective broadened as he worked to strengthen the Democratic Party throughout the state. He was a tireless and effective social justice and civil rights activist who was granted conscientious objector status by the draft board when his convictions led him to oppose the Vietnam War.
His professional life began at the University of Utah’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. He went on to work at Beneficial Life Insurance Company where he was tapped to do strategic long range planning and development. While in that position, in 1977, Governor Scott Matheson appointed him to be the State Insurance Commissioner at the age of 29. He was the youngest insurance commissioner appointed in Utah’s history. He was subsequently elected President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, taking his insurance industry insights and managerial expertise to a national level.
Roger had an innate concern for all people as well as a selfless generosity. Everything interested him. He had an indefatigable curiosity and loved connecting people and ideas. He remained active in Democratic politics throughout his life, lending his unique skills to multiple campaigns. Patriotism and love for his country defined him in all phases of his life. Above all, he was devoted to his family. He shared knowledge, wisdom, and the significance of history. He read, conversed and philosophized with them. He taught them all to play chess. He modeled a passion for lifelong learning. A love of nature and the outdoors was inherent in who he was. He fell in love with his wife because she could thread a worm on a hook, catch a fish, and clean it. He taught his family to fish, camp, and stay alive. Roger was loved for offering the world one utterly unique individual and he will forever live in our hearts and memories.
The family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to Dr. Anna Beck who developed a warm and meaningful relationship with Roger during his time with Huntsman Cancer Institute.
He is survived by his wife Julie Day; five children Rachel (Peter), Eric (Patty), Evan (Lauren), Spencer (Denise), Sarah; and four grandchildren, Henry, William, Katherine, and George.
Friends and family are encouraged to join in a celebration of Roger’s life which will be held at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, on the evening of Thursday, July 25th from 6:00-8:00 PM. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 27th at 11:00 AM at the Yalecrest Ward Chapel, 1035 South 1800 East. The family will be receiving friends from 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will follow at Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Tribute video slideshow forthcoming.