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ROGER FRANCIS CONNOR  –   September 4, 1944  –  November 24, 2014

Roger & Isolde

Roger & Isolde

Although born in San Luis Obispo, Roger grew up in Chicago, later attending Stanford University, where he studied linguistics and life and nurtured his very inquisitive and nimble mind.  He had four siblings, two of whom still live in the States.  Roger traveled a lot when he was younger, lived in Nepal for a while and eventually made his way to Costa Rica in the early 70s, where he later met the love of his life, Isolde Schmidt.  Together they transformed Isolde’s small inn on the road to Manuel Antonio into the successful restaurant and hotel, Plinio,  which for many years was a wonderful  place to gather with friends at the bar, and which tourists returned to year after year for the friendly owners, the GREAT food and the beautiful setting.  They worked hard – carved out nature trails, built a pool, hauled lumber up a hill to erect a tower from which the entire Quepos area was visible, built more rooms, hosted many great parties and food celebrations, and Roger was a fierce advocate for the preservation of this beautiful area and for the Ticos who live here.

At 6’8” tall, Roger was a gentle giant who never offended anyone and who was loved by many, many folks.  He was an avid hiker who loved maps and mapmaking, and especially loved exploring Mount Chirripo.  He casually read books on Quantum Physics (!) and kept a diary in Sanskrit.  What a fascinating and wonderful guy – he could tell a good story, loved music and animals, and he had a huge impact on many peoples’ lives here in his adopted country.   In 2001 Roger and Isolde moved up to the Rivas / San Gerardo area at the base of Mt. Chirripo, where they raised goats for packing folks into the park and made cheese and built furniture and helped the locals get phone service and road work done and advised them on how to launch a small business.   He was very involved in the community and the people who live in this remote area – he will be sorely missed by them, and by the rest of us whose lives he touched in such a positive and loving way.  I am proud and humbled to have been his friend – sad for his partner of 25 years, Isolde – but feel sure he is striding across heaven with a smile on his face, a book in his hand and warm from the love so many of us felt for him.  There will be a celebration of his life at some point in Quepos – stay tuned for that – we can all tell some good Roger tall stories!

2 Responses to “ROGER FRANCIS CONNOR  –   September 4, 1944  –  November 24, 2014”

  1. Doug Parkin said:

    I hung out with Roger in the 70’s. He had just started building structures on the property. He took me to climb Mount Chirripo and shared the magic of Manuel Antonio with me and many others. By far one of the most gentle and loving guys I have ever met. Came back in 1989 and visited. So glad he had 25 years with Isolde.

  2. KAREN LUKSICH said:

    Sad to read this news. I was a long time friend of Roger in Indiana where his parents lived. I met his dad, Big Roger, playing tennis when I was a young teenager. Later when I had a young family, we were befriended by the Connor family. I played a lot of mixed doubles with Young Roger as my partner. We once paddled a canoe across a good stretch of Lake Michigan. He was a gentle soul and a good friend to my sons. Although we haven’t been in touch for many years, I am so sorry to read about his passing. My condolences to his wife, Isolde. I know she is sad too and missing this special man.