Ling, Roger Darwin
November 8, 2020, age 87
RUPERT—It is with sad and heavy hearts that the family of Roger Darwin Ling announce his passing on November 8, 2020. Roger was surrounded by his family, and passed peacefully into the gates of heaven.
Roger was born on November 7, 1933, and spent his formative years in California and Idaho. He began his career as a farmer in Rupert, before being drafted to the United States Army for the Korean War. Roger then decided to take advantage of the GI bill and attend Idaho State, where he met the love of his life, Judy Jones.
Roger believed a law degree would provide the most options for their future together, and would be helpful in any career path. He and Judy then moved to Salem, Oregon, where he enrolled in law school at Willamette University. Roger breezed through law school in just 2 years, graduating at the top of his class in 1964 and welcomed two daughters to their family - Dawn and Melissa.
Roger had always wanted to come home to the Rupert area, where he could enjoy great hunting and fishing, and be a part of a tight-knit local community. After law school, Roger and Judy returned to Rupert where he intended to practice law.
“I found myself focusing on those issues which are of primary interest to me, in particular oriented toward agriculture.” He was concerned with things like water quality, minimum stream flow, ground water and scenic rivers and was aware of those things because of his love of hunting, fishing and nature. Roger was known to say that “...we have to keep everything in balance without any one group taking unfair advantage.”
After Roger and Judy returned to Rupert, they continued to grow their family with two sons - Robert and Timothy - as he began his career.
Roger would dedicate the next 60 years of his life to the practice of law - anyone who knew Roger immediately recognized the deep commitment he had to the rule of law and those it serves. He developed an expertise in environmental litigation issues, establishing himself as a well-known and well-respected water rights attorney, while also providing legal services to his local community.
Roger’s skill and tenacity was known to many - he testified before Congress, advised politicians in Washington D.C. and worked tirelessly on the water rights issues for the Idaho Department of Water Resources and multiple local irrigation districts (A&B, Burley, and Jerome). Roger also represented the Minidoka School District, guiding them through legal issues for over a decade.
Roger was inducted into the Idaho Water Users Association Hall of Fame in 2019, for his exceptional legal expertise and dedication to the water rights issues in southern Idaho. He was selected as a “Super Lawyer” from 2009-2011.
Roger loved his work, and continued to practice law until he was a youthful eighty three years old.
Roger never lost his love for farming, spending as much time as he could on his tractor and giving “helping” words of advice to his nephew David about farming...and taking great pride in his garden each and every year. His love of nature extended to his annual hunting trip for elk in the Bear Valley area, fishing for salmon in Alaska, and many rounds of golf at Rupert Country Club.
He especially cherished his time with family, and looked forward to when the entire Ling clan could get together over holidays, college graduations, and weddings. Roger’s booming laugh and stern poker face were a hallmark of many, many family gatherings over the years.
Roger was greatly influenced by the values of his grandfather, Robert E. Ling, who was hardworking, honest, and loyal. Roger used to say, “much can be learned by listening and watching instead of talking or proceeding blindly.” He wanted to be perceived as being ethical, honest and capable. Roger always said if he could maintain those three qualities, he would “never have to look back.” And he didn’t.
He taught his four children by the same example, and had a fierce belief to “always do your best.” Roger was extremely proud of all that his children (and grandchildren) have accomplished in their lives, and he left a lasting legacy of virtue in all of their characters. His generosity and life lessons will never be forgotten.
Roger is survived by his four children, Dawn King (Chris), Melissa Lintz, Robert Ling (Tracy), and Tim Ling (Julie); his grandchildren, Austin, Jennifer, MacKenzie (Brandon), Chloe, Alec, Karson, Creed and Clay. He is also survived by his sisters, Bernice Rollheiser and Linda Duke (David); and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; the love of his life, Judy; and his grandson, Dalton.
A private family service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. A public graveside service will follow at 2 p.m. at Rupert Cemetery. Military rites will be provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans Group.
Following the graveside service, there will be a family gathering at the Ling home in Rupert. The family asks that face masks be worn and social distancing will be practiced.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home of Burley.