This past July the Prairie Arts community lost one of Rensselaer’s most beloved, retired art teachers and coach, Roger Beehler. After teaching art and coaching at a number of schools around Indiana from 1958 to 1968, Mr. Beehler came to the brand new Rensselaer Central High School, introducing the first baseball program and serving as its head coach and, more importantly, the art teacher.  After 35 years of dedication to education, Roger retired in 1993.

It has been said that Roger touched many lives through coaching athletics but “coaching” his students through the world of art was one of his finest accomplishments and greatest strengths. Roger instilled a strong work ethic in his art students, gave them confidence, and nurtured their creativity. Many students returned to visit Roger over the years and told him that he was one of the most inspiring people in their lives outside of their own parents.  A remarkable number of his art students have pursued successful fine arts careers or continued with a passion for art as an avocation.*

Prairie Arts Council joins with Judy, Roger’s wife of 58 years, his siblings, children and grandchildren, his many former students and athletes, and the Rensselaer community in honoring Roger and the positive impact he had on so many of his students during his long teaching career.