Updated: Feb 2
By Paige Norman
Roger Trepanier was born in Connecticut to French-Canadian parents, growing up with 3 brothers and speaking French as his primary language until learning English in elementary school. Roger attended prep school and college in Worcester, Massachusetts. After graduating in 1961 Roger joined the Army and served his country. After that he joined TIAA (the "college world's pension company", founded by Andrew Carnegie) in New York City.
At a party in New York, he met Patti Kirschner, a Vashon Island native who was a flight attendant for United Airlines. Patti was raised on rural Vashon Island with three siblings on the West side of Vashon with the water as their playground. Her parents, Don & Evelyn "Gigi" (Zorn) Kirschner, originally came from Seattle before moving to Vashon. Don and his brother Bill Kirschner owned a company that manufactured fiberglass pet cages. The business was the largest employer on Vashon Island. In the early 60's, Kirschner Mfg. evolved into the K2 Ski Company (named after the 2 Kirschner brothers).
Roger and Patti married and eventually moved across the country to Redmond in 1969, living on Education Hill. Roger joined the Farmers Insurance Group on Mercer Island. Patti retired from United Airlines and took on the role of mother to their two sons. She became an aerobics instructor at the Bellevue YMCA and has continued to volunteer at the Redmond Senior Center for a number of years, including a position on the Senior Advisory Committee. She continues her commitment to the community by volunteering with Meals on Wheels.
Roger continued to work for Farmers Insurance, retiring as a risk management executive in 1999. However, he continues his involvement in the fabric of Redmond by speaking up about many issues, particularly when they involve Redmond seniors. Roger learned about Redmond Historical Society through a Redmond city council meeting and enjoyed the Saturday Speaker Series and the varied topics, which is what led him to becoming a Lifetime Member. Patti purchased her Lifetime Membership in April 2021.
Roger became interested in Redmond civics after attending a City Council meeting in 1971. He ran for council and served as a Council member from 1976 until 1987 and was the Council president for one of his terms. He worked with three mayors during his terms: Bud Young (1968-1979), Chris Himes (1980-1984), and Doreen Marchione (1984-1991). Redmond was a small town with only a blinking traffic light at Redmond Way and Leary when he first arrived. By the mid-70's Redmond was beginning a growth surge that created issues requiring immediate attention. Roger was involved in revisions to land use plans, creation of the city's first Development Guide, annexation of the Evergreen East site (eventually the Microsoft campus), planning the Redmond Municipal Campus, and parks acquisition and development. After his council years, Roger chaired the capital campaign that funded the Public Safety building and the Senior Center.
Physical fitness activities have always been important for Roger and Patti. Distance running from 10K's to marathons continued well into their later years but are now replaced by brisk walks with their dog "Ellie".
Roger has traveled extensively to four continents exploring different cultures. Trips to France are valued because of his French fluency. His adventure travel "bucket list" was completed in 2019 with travel to Pamplona, Spain, and physical participation in the "running of the bulls", from which he emerged unscathed. Patti has banned a repeat.
Roger and Patti have enjoyed the Saturday Speaker series as well as the most recent fundraiser for Redmond Historical Society.
WELCOME Roger and Patti to our Lifetime Membership family!
Read more about the Trepaniers: