Mr. Roger Toby LaRue, a dedicated family man, and a decorated police officer of more than 25 years, died Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at Olathe Medical Center. Son of Elton and Alice “Toby” LaRue, Roger was born November 29, 1949 in Russell, Kansas. He attended the public schools of Russell, Kansas and grew up hunting the prairie for fossils, pheasant, and deer with his friends.
Roger served in the Vietnam War, reenlisting twice for a total of two tours; Roger served with distinction in the Marine Corps. Serving in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, he was a prisoner of war, and was awarded the Purple Heart. After he returned to Kansas the 71-year-old built a life around continuing service to the community he lived in.
After the war, he attended Fort Hayes State and graduated with a degree in criminal justice. He got his first job in Hays, Kansas as a police officer, but afterwards moved to Olathe, Kansas and began a career on the Olathe Police Department. He lived in and served the community of Olathe most of his life.
Roger was known to bring his work home on occasion. The best example may be his first wife Sandra LaRue (Barker) who he met after he pulled her over for speeding. “He pulled me over, chided me for speeding, and struck up a conversation like it was nothing” said Sandra. Roger and Sandra raised two boys, Michael and David.
While working in law enforcement Roger did it all. Starting as a uniformed officer, later working undercover in narcotics cases, and retiring as a detective on the metro squad, he worked all across the Kansas City metro on major cases. He was recognized with many awards, but never one to brag or seek credit they mostly sat in boxes in his basement. Instead, his home had photos of his family on the walls.
Roger remarried to Pam LaRue (Brown). Pam and Roger lived together in Olathe with their combined family. Their home was always open for a meal or a place to stay to anyone in need. Over the years, they opened their home and hearts to several children who needed a home. Roger never met a stranger and every child in his home was family,
An avid hunter, boater, and fisherman, Roger enjoyed eating and drinking with his friends and family at Pamona Lake with his dogs by his side.
Mr. LaRue is survived by his sons Michael and David LaRue, Step-Daughter Aubrey J Haehn, sister Holli Maupin, and nine grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to Paws for Purple Hearts, visit https://pawsforpurplehearts.org/ to make a donation in memory of Roger.
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