Roger Trevor Bannerman, aged 75, of Madison died October 15, 2020, at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, WI after living with advanced prostate cancer for several years. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jane, and their two children Eric of Madison and Julie (Juan Ponce Vázquez) of Tuscaloosa, and by his grandsons Santiago Ponce Bannerman and Alejandro Ponce Bannerman. He is also survived by his two siblings, Brian (Bonnie) and Gillian (John Martella), and sister-in- law Cathy Tesar (George). He is further survived by other cherished relatives and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Raymond and Doreen Bannerman, and his parents-in- law, Ladislav and Katherine Krno.
Roger was born July 2, 1945 in London, England to his father, Raymond, an American serviceman, and his mother, Doreen, a British citizen. After a childhood with frequent moves due to his father’s army career, his family settled in Pacific Grove, CA where he graduated from high school in 1963. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Humboldt State University, he drove across the country to begin graduate school at UW Madison in the Water Chemistry Program. While in graduate school he met his future wife, Jane. Roger and Jane married in 1971 and settled in Madison.
Roger worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and retired with 40 years of state service. After retirement, he worked for the United States Geologic Survey. Roger was instrumental in developing the State of Wisconsin's storm water management program. He conducted groundbreaking storm water research that is still recognized nationally and internationally as fundamental to this science. In September of 2020, the City of Madison Engineering Division named its rain garden program the “Roger Bannerman Rain Garden Initiative” to honor his work with rain garden projects throughout our community. He served on the Commission on the Environment for the City of Madison. Roger enjoyed being an active member of the Board of Directors for the Friends of Lake Wingra.
Roger had a unique ability to build coalitions across industry and government to fund research projects that provided the data forming the basis of many of DNR’s stormwater rules. He developed a deeply personal approach to advocating for the use of science in resource management. He genuinely loved working with others, and he mentored university faculty, graduate students, fellow water quality staff, DNR administrators and the public to build understanding. He had a rare mixture of expertise, curiosity, generosity and compassion that was obvious to anyone who worked with him.
Roger loved being outdoors and sharing the outdoors with others. He enjoyed spending time walking, biking, camping, canoeing, and cross-country skiing. Roger loved to hike on trails in local state parks, especially Devil’s Lake and Governor Dodge. Roger and Jane walked in all seasons in the UW arboretum, where they served as volunteer stewards. Roger enjoyed taking family and friends paddling on local lakes and rivers. He and Jane spent over 30 years canoe camping in the Boundary Waters and in the Sylvania Wilderness. Roger was a passionate photographer, capturing images of nature and documenting adventures with family and friends. He loved hosting friends at what was affectionately called “Camp Bannerman” due to Roger’s camp director approach to organizing fun and activities. He was a doting grandfather to his two grandsons and loved spending time with his boys.
Roger will be remembered as a generous friend and loving father, brother, grandfather, and husband. He will be greatly missed.
A celebration of Roger’s life will be held at a later date.
The family welcomes donations to Second Harvest Food Bank or to the charity of your choice as an expression of sympathy instead of flowers.
Second Harvest Food Bank
2802 Dairy Drive, Madison WI 53718