Faith, Family, and Music: Roger Tatro’s “Three Things”
Since he was 12 years old, serving God and others has been Roger Tatro’s mission in life.
Tatro, who now lives in Quail Hollow with his wife, Dale, learned the value of hard work and selflessness early in life, and it’s carried with him throughout his life and career as a farmhand, a milkman, an insurance agent, and a musician.
Tatro grew up in Morrisville, and he met Dale “just by accident” after graduating from the Peoples Academy in 1958. “I just saw her sitting on a stone wall with another girl; I just pulled over [in the car] and introduced myself,” he says.
Straight out of high school, Tatro kept working for Greaves Farms in Morrisville, where he had started living and working at age 14. After his parents’ divorce when he was 12, Tatro decided to step up for his family in a time of need. “I knew Mom [needed] some help, so I went to work,” he says. For many years, Tatro’s daily routine consisted of waking up before 3:30am, milking cows from 4am to 6am, and then going to school for the day. At age 18, Tatro started delivering milk to a few area towns, which later led to his immense success selling insurance for nearly thirty years. “I knew everybody, because of delivering milk,” Tatro explains. “I had no problem getting into homes and sitting down with people [to talk].”
At age 29, Tatro went to work for MetLife Insurance, and after incredible success during his first year, he was offered multiple promotions in bigger districts, but wanting to stay loyal to his local communities, he refused. After 13 years, Tatro moved on to work for A.D. Davis (Bankworth Insurance Group), where he continued his mission of “serving the people” at a job he enjoyed, prioritizing his faith over selfish sales tactics. “I loved getting up in the morning and going to work,” Tatro says. “Attitude is number one.”
Tatro retired as a vice president of the company in 1998, after suffering a massive heart attack in ‘96 with no explanation. The Tatros – now married for over 60 years – then moved to Quechee, and Tatro joined St. Anthony’s Church in White River Junction. Since then, Tatro has served as a greeter, elector (scripture reader), and eucharist minister (who brings holy communion to others).
After faith and family, “music is the third thing in my life,” Tatro says, who’s been playing the guitar and singing for about 65 years. In the community, Tatro provides vocals and music at area senior centers and assisted living facilities, in churches, and at memorials. Any genre from old-time music to rock n’ roll is fair game for Tatro, but hymns are his favorite, which he plays and signs by memory.
Now a grandfather and great-grandfather, Tatro has many loved ones to pass his wisdom on to, and he still lives by the purpose of service – in faith and community. “That’s been my mission,” he says. “And I have done that.”