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Roger Nordin, an Army veteran well-known in Downey for his compassion and community service, died April 2 at his Downey home following a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born Feb. 23, 1947 in Jamestown, N.Y., to Rev. Willard and Esther Nordin. A longtime Downey resident, he attended East Middle School and graduated from Downey High in 1965.
He was drafted by the U.S. Army and on Thanksgiving Day 1967 was sent to Vietnam where he was assigned to Bravo Company. As a sergeant, he was affectionately nicknamed "Babycakes" by his men.
After an honorable discharge, he returned home and went to work for Rockview Dairies. He then went to work for Green Spot Packaging as operations manager and was later promoted to president.
While at Greenspot, Nordin was honored by local and state officials as "Employer of the Year" for hiring six people with physical and mental disabilities. In receiving the award, Roger said he was "inspired by these employees who often were more productive than other able-bodied employees."
After retiring from Greenspot, Nordin was hired by Century 21 My Real Estate Co. as a realtor and relocation specialist.
He was past president of the California Dairies Industries Association, a member of Downey Los Amigos Kiwanis and active with the Downey Chamber of Commerce.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Susan; son, Michael; daughter, Tracey (Anthony) Marquez; grandchildren Jacob, Justin and Ali; brother, Tim; and extended family and friends.
A memorial service will be held this Saturday, April 13, at Calvary Chapel Downey at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to The Arc, 12049 Woodruff Ave., Downey CA 90241.