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News

12-12-21, Roger Lancaster, 82

Sixty-year resident of Ojai, beloved pharmacist, Roger Lancaster, died in his home on December 12, 2021, at age 82.

He was surrounded by family and friends for many days prior to his passing, with his wife of 50 years by his side. He was born in Santa Monica, CA, to “Toni” Vivian Lancaster and “Bud” Ellis Lancaster, on June 28, 1939.
From his mother, he got the love of learning, bohemian-style travel to as many countries as possible, languages, foreign cultures, music, and poetry.

From his father, Roger got a love for mountains and lakes, home and sense of place, fishing, outsmarting squirrels and other garden critters, and the ability to fix almost anything.

Roger lived a very full life, filled with many adventures and accomplishments, passionate hobbies, and deep friendships.

He started his love of travel by riding his bicycle with a friend from Los Angeles to San Francisco at age 13.

Later, he traveled to many countries by his own innovating ways, such as working on a freighter, riding a motorcycle alone to Alaska, monthslong camping around Mexico and Canada,

buying a van in Germany and making it into a camper with simple hand tools, and traveling throughout Europe for a year after graduating from USC School of Pharmacy in 1965.

Always very energetic, he pursued many projects at the same time. His love of chemistry and math started as a child, when he discovered that a local school had thrown out their entire chemistry lab,

which Roger found on his many forays on bicycle into the neighborhoods of Santa Monica. He converted it into a home chemistry set, and continued with chemistry experiments for many years.

He also developed an early interest and talent for mechanics, and established a childhood business repairing bikes for the neighborhood kids out of his garage.

He worked his way through pharmacy school as a mechanic, even though he had earned a partial scholarship to USC, which included earning a substantial local reputation for his antique motorcycle restoration skills,

particularly Triumphs, from the 1950s and ‘60s. He belonged to an antique motorcycle club in Ojai with many good friends.

Having the spirit of an explorer and pioneer, Roger loved the idea of mastering the wilderness. He carried this over to house-building, design, and stonework on raw land. Self-taught in this area,

he built a straw-bale home in Lockwood Valley, one hour north of Ojai, with the help of his family and friends on weekends.

He was deeply passionate about the conservation of nature, and volunteered his time with Island Conservation when he was not enjoying the peace and quiet surrounding his own cabin in pinyon-juniper woodlands.

He instilled in his children a love of nature and gifted them with his infectious enthusiasm to know about nature and how it works.

Together with his wife, Christiane, Roger owned and ran Buenaventura Clinic Pharmacy in Ventura, CA, from 1985 to 1997, and the Medical Arts Pharmacy in Ojai, from 1992 to 2008.

He was a popular pharmacist due to his expert knowledge and his ability to listen to his customers, who often would not come into the pharmacy if they did not see his motorcycle parked outside.

He truly cared for each of his customers, often taking them their drug deliveries personally after work and staying to help them with mechanical chores around the house.

After his retirement in 2008, he continued to work part-time in both Ventura and Ojai, until only weeks before his passing due to prostate cancer.

He is survived by his wife, Christiane, of 50 years; two children, Brent and Lesley; son-in-law, Eric; and two grandchildren, Penelope and Eli.

He is further survived by his brother, Steve; sister-in-law, Linda; and nieces Penny and Monica.
Roger will be forever remembered for his tolerant, understanding, and thoughtful nature, his resourcefulness, his abundant energy, wonderful sense of humor, fun, and excitement for life.

He inspired all who knew him with his knowledge and appreciation for music, science, nature, engineering, and culture. He is sorely missed by many, while his gifts and legacy live on forever in our hearts.

A “Celebration of Life” memorial service will be held in Camarillo, on Sunday, June 5, at 2 p.m.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in attending. Please send your name and address and an invitation will be sent to you.

Obit Lancaster photo 1Obit Lancaster photo 2

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