- 77 years old
- Date of birth: Jun 26, 1938
- Place of birth:
Elmwood Park, Illinois, United States
- Date of passing: Sep 16, 2015
- Place of passing:
Dallas, Texas, United States
|While his professional success is well documented, Roger was a devoted and loving father whose faith and family were his first priorities. These guiding principles were evident in how he provided both for his family and the employees that worked for him.|
Roger Dennis Linquist, 77, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in Dallas on Wednesday, September 16, after a lengthy battle with cancer. At the time of his death he was CEO and Managing Partner of NxGen Partners, a private equity fund based in Dallas.
Born in Elmwood Park, Illinois on June 26, 1938, and raised by his single mother in Chicago, Roger graduated with honors in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1961 and was a member of two national engineering honor societies, Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi. After graduation, Roger was accepted for graduate studies at the Rocket Propulsion Laboratory in the School of Mechanical Engineering including a full-time Research Assistantship. After graduating in 1963 with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and subsequently working for Air Research in Phoenix for a year, Roger applied and received a full tuition scholarship to study in the MBA program at Northwestern which he believed would complete his formal education and help him realize his goal of someday owning and operating a business.
While working part-time to support his family, Roger graduated in the summer of 1966 and went to work for Texas Instruments (TI) in Dallas, for ten years. The majority of that time spent working as a branch manager in the Central Research Laboratories applying new technologies to advanced product systems.
In the spring of 1976, Roger accepted an opportunity to become a management consultant with McKinsey and Company in New York and was transferred to Dallas the following year. After consulting for a number of years with major corporations, including NASA where he was the engagement manager on a study of the Space Transportation Systems (Shuttle) organization, he accepted a position at Communications Industries (CI), a public company in Dallas in 1982. Within six months he became VP and General Manager of Gencom (CI), the Radio Common Carrier Division and in 1985 was elected President and CEO of CI.
CI was acquired by Pacific Telesis in 1986 and Roger became Treasurer of Pacific Telesis and President and CEO of PacTel Personal Communications, the cellular and paging unit of Pacific Telesis, in early 1987. After a failed attempt to take PacTel public in the wake of “Black Monday” in the fall of 1987, Roger formed PageMart in Dallas in 1988 which subsequently became one of the largest public paging companies in the country.
Roger left PageMart to start General Wireless [MetroPCS] in 1994 to take advantage of the opportunity created by the federal government to increase competition in the wireless services sector. From an idea to green field start-up and through five years of litigation, and phenomenal growth over more than ten years, MetroPCS became the fifth largest facilities-based wireless communications company in the U.S., employing close to 4,000 people and listed in the Fortune 500 in 2012.
In 2011, Roger was the recipient of the National Ernst & Young, “Entrepreneur Award” for Media, Entertainment and Communications; the Metroplex, “Tech Titan” award; and, he was ranked 8th on the list of the Top 25 Most Powerful People in the U.S. Wireless, by Fierce Wireless, the wireless industry’s go-to online publication. He also received the DEA (Distinguished Engineering Alumni) award for 2015 from Purdue University.
Roger’s motto of ‘family first’ motivated him to frequently take his children and grandchildren together with him and his wife Sue on memorable vacations throughout Europe during the summers and on holidays.
He was preceded in death by his father, John Linquist and mother, Henrietta Linquist. Roger is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Sue (Sandel) Linquist; his sons Corey Linquist & wife Karin of Rescue, CA; Todd Linquist & wife Michelle of Dallas; daughters Heather Campbell and husband, Andrew of Dallas; Tracey Terry and husband Phillip of Dallas; grandchildren Rachel, Corey, Savannah, Logan, Bennett, Isabelle, Avery, Jackson, Tommy, and Charley; brother-in-law John Sandel and wife, Lori of Dallas. He is also survived by numerous cousins, colleagues and friends. Special thanks to caregiver Jacquelyn Crenshaw Young for her service to Roger and his family.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, September 21, at 3:00pm at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, 3821 University Blvd. Dallas, TX 75205. A reception will follow the service at the church in Elliot Hall.
"Sue, Todd, Michelle and all the Linquist Family, my thoughts are with all of you. Roger was a vibrant man with a heart of gold! I was always greeted with a warm smile, big bear hug and made to feel like I was part of the family. Though words can not ease your pain, I pray you are comforted by the love that surrounds you. "Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy." -Eskimo Legend"
"Along with just about everybody whose life he touched, Jill and I will miss Roger terribly – he was truly a man in full. What comfort to know that on top of all the other gifts He gave him, God also blessed Roger with faith, a faith still strong in the hour in which our Lord took him to be with Himself in heaven.
To Sue and all the family, our prayers are with you. May Christ's abiding love and the promise of the resurrection give you hope and comfort in the midst of grief."
"I am really sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to the Linquist family.
Roger was a great man. He really did all he could for his employees at Metro PCS. He was very inspiring and he was always a very upbeat individual. Roger was a very down to earth guy and the employee party he threw for us before the T-Mobile merger was top notch. He was nothing but class all the way. I always enjoyed gazing at his McLaren in the parking garage and we all knew when he was at the office. He was a true car enthusiast. I am glad to have met him and worked for Metro PCS. He will be missed."
"I had once in a life time opportunity to work for a visionary like Roger. The unlimited calling plans that he implemented at MetroPCS were later followed by T-Mobile as their uncarrier plans. We all know how that has helped them go from last to 3rd place in carrier rankings.
At MetroPCS he always took care of the employee needs. He constantly rejected the yearly increase in medical insurance recommended by HR team and kept it low. He also gave each and every employee the best compensation and severance package when the company was sold to T-Mobile. Most of us are at a good position in life financially thanks to him.
I believe Roger knew his end was near and wanted to do the best for all us."
"I'm so sorry for your loss. Roger was a pleasure to work for, and an enduring example of how to lead with wisdom and gentleness."
"Thank you, Roger, for being such a kind and gracious soul, a bold visionary, and the best client one could ever ask for. I will never forget you, and will cherish the laughter we shared."
"My sincere condolences to the Linquist family during this difficult time. It was an honor to be MetroPCS’ Logistics vendor and a privilege to contribute to his vision. The tremendous success of this outstanding company was not accidental; rather the culture reflected Roger’s brilliance and compassion."
"Humbling, gracious, blessing to many he is still and will always be. I pray that your family has peace, love and support to move through the time ahead. Roger's work in this world will be rewarded even more in his next journey. Thank you for sharing him with so many. God Bless! Irene"
"To the Linquist Family, I worked closely with Roger for 6 years (as a client) during trying times for the business. He was equal parts tenacious and brilliant. Not only was he ever-passionate about his work, he inspired you to be passionate as well. He taught me a great deal about hard work and never giving up. I respected him immensely. It was a honor to work for him and his team. He will be greatly missed. May God Bless you and help you find peace and comfort. You have my deepest condolences."
"ROGER: I will be forever thankful to you as I have been blessed since I started with MetroPCS back in 2001 in Sunrise FL. You built a "one of a kind" family oriented, professional company with integrity and dedication its success and it's employees.
FAMILY: May you find comfort in God's promises knowing that Roger is with the Lord...
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord""
"Roger not only started a company, his ideas and actions revolutionized an industry. Knowing that he was also a good father and loving family man makes him even more of an icon; someone we could always learn from and forever respect."
"Not many people ever get the chance to work for an industry icon.
I feel so blessed to have worked for a man who not only changed an industry, but changed people's lives for the better.
My sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the Linquist family."
"Would like to express my condolences to the Linquist family and friends. I pray that you would be comforted in your time of grief. I too like so many others worked for Roger, he was a wonderful person, a trailblazer. I will forever be grateful for having known him. I thank God for not only the vision he had for MPCS but the courage to make the vision a reality He opened wide the doors for "the least of these" the forgotten ones to have wireless communication.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Rest in Peace Roger."
"I did not know Roger Personally, but I felt the culture of what he built while being a contractor at Metro PCS. His employees loved him but more important his customers adored him. The spirit of selfless innovation will live on through what he has shared. To give your all is a lot but for people around you to accept your all, is golden. A game changer or trail blazer could not sum up the legacy and vision that Roger has shared. Thank you in so many ways."
"My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. A life that touches others goes on forever. I'm fortunate enough to have met Mr. Linquist in September of 2009. I will never forget that day, what a remarkable man!"
"Roger & Family, thank you from all of the Loverdes for everything you have done for my dad and our family. You were a great friend. We will miss you, both personally and professionally. You were a visionary on the cutting edge of technology with MetroPCS, and managed to keep it the feel of a mom and pop company even though we grew into a large corporation. We MetroPCS folks share a deep bond. You made a paradigm shift in the industry, and because of you tens of thousands of people had jobs and became industry leaders. To see you and my dad up on the platform ringing the opening bell on Wall Street for MetroPCS' IPO was once-in-a-lifetime. Love to your family."
"There are thousands of MetroPCS employees and millions of MetroPCS customers that have something today because of Roger. I am one of them. Thank you Roger.
It was my great privilege to work with Roger at MetroPCS. He was a great man and will be sorely missed. Roger was a great motivator and always an inspiration to me. He was incredibly gifted, remained approachable and always helpful. Many condolences from me and my family."
"Thank you! Your vision has made a lot of lives better... Underserved customers, employees and their families, the entire industry. It is truly amazing and I am so lucky to have met you and been a part of your vision."
"From all of us at Samsung SDS, we extend our deepest condolences. Mr. Linquist was a man of creative vision, great talent, and a true industry pioneer. We send our most sincere regrets to his family and dearest friends."
"Roger was my customer for over 12 years. During that time I was amazed at his ability to absorb information about virtually anything. His intellect was uncanny. He was a man of drive, vision, and determination. But what impressed me the most each and every time I had contact with Roger was that this titan of industry was madly in love with his family. Family was truly first for Roger, and you could tell by the way he treated his sweet wife, his children, and his grand-children. He was also extremely loyal to those friends and coworkers he'd know for many years -- and in many ways he treated them as a part of his larger family. I have immense respect for Roger based upon my business dealings with him - but I have admiration for the example he set with love for others. I'm praying for those left behind, and rejoicing that Roger is right now in heaven experiencing a joy that cannot be described."
"With great sadness, I received the news of my colleague, close friend and mentor Roger Linquist. Despite his deteriorating physical health, Roger continued to do projects on advanced scientific and engineering concepts that could one day disrupt the entire industry as he had done that at his previous ventures. I miss him every day at work and am truly honored to have many publications with him before he passed away. Though I worked with Roger for many years, little did I realize then that meeting Roger would mark an important turning point in my life, I feel privileged and honored to have known Roger and his family over all these years and remember him as a truly exceptional and visionary man. I will not mourn his passing and will celebrate his life and pursue his dreams. Love You Roger / Solyman Ashrafi"
"Even though I was not much more than "the unknown guy" down on the first floor, you time and time again put my family's security and personal needs first in your business decisions. These decisions and gestures made HUGE impacts on our lives, and in spite of all of your professional accomplishments, they will be the legacy that me and my family remember as Roger Linquist.
Thank you Roger for your huge heart, and everything you have done for us all."
"Roger was a man who inspired those who worked for him to do more than even they thought possible...He was generous, compassionate and demanded a high ethical standard. When Roger would say "Go Make It Happen" he did and we did. God speed Roger, my condolences to his wonderful family and many friends."
"To the Linguist family, thank you for sharing Roger with us. Please accept my sincere sympathy at this time on your loss. I had the distinct pleasure of working with/for Roger at MetroPCS for over 10 years. No truer words can be said about Roger then 'family first'. As employees at Metro I always felt that we were Roger's 'extended family'. Roger always had the best interest of the company and its employees at heart, up through to the the acquisition by TMO. God now has great one on his team.
"Roger - I will miss you greatly... your life gave me personal inspiration to become a successful entrepreneur. You set such a high standard, and it made achievers out of me and my team. You changed my life and the lives of the people in my company for the better by giving us an opportunity... I will forever be grateful. We will mourn your passing... I pray that your family get through this difficult period. May I offer a scripture for them in 2Corinthians 4:8,9. Much love and see you in the future my friend! John Georges"
"To the Linquist Family,
Roger was an amazing man. I had the pleasure of working with him at Metropcs. He really "walked the talk". I appreciated how he lived life and he was one of the few people I knew who drove faster then me. I interacted with him most during the early Metropcs days when he "talked" to the copy machine about jamming up on him. Scott would call me and tell me to go help Roger but I think it may have been to protect the copy machine now that I think about it. Roger was the type of man who spoke his mind but was always friendly when you ran into him. He was special and a true leader. We will miss him greatly. I pray the memories of his love and laughter bring you comfort during this sad time."
"My prayers are with the entire Linquist family, especially Sue. Roger was such an inspiration to all that met him, including me. He worked so very hard to accomplish what he did in his lifetime. He epitomizes the quote by Vince Lombardi, "The only place SUCCESS comes before work is in the Dictionary." When I visit my daughter, Michelle Linquist, there will be such a void without you. May God keep you in his care."
"Roger, I don't know what to say; it's difficult to believe you are gone. WOW - the ride we had in starting up MetroPCS! There are so many memories of the days and nights working through all the challenges we faced. It's certainly a period in my life I will forever remember - particularly your "Never, Never, Never Give UP" attitude. You never gave up, Roger, and I know there are many of us who are so grateful for your tenacity and unbending will to bring that company to success. I pray that you are at peace and comfort now in the arms of our Lord and Savior and that God will be with your family and friends as they have begun this journey of grief without you. You will always be remembered with fondness. Love, Suzi"
"It was my great privilege to know Roger for twenty something years, and I confess (and I know I speak for many) to being awe-struck by this powerful man: he had a fascinating combination of genius, vision and tenacity. He was generous, charitable and kind hearted. He was a hero in business, enduring many unfair challenges and great stresses, yet was ultimately triumphant. He rose to become one of the great business leaders in the country, revolutionizing the telecom industry to the benefit of millions of users. Though unassuming, his extraordinary natural gifts set him apart, and his razor-like intelligence was evident even in looking at his face. His example of living a purposeful, ethical, successful life will always inspire me. Sadly, he still had much left to give, and he never stopped working. The world has lost a great soul with his passing, though his work remains, and his spirit will always be vividly remembered by those who were lucky enough to know him well."
For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
My prayers and thoughts are with family and friends during this difficult time. I’m personally honored to embrace the great responsibility of carrying on the vision and passion that defines Roger, and continues to define MetroPCS. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
MetroPCS employee - 9 years"
"Roger was a wonderful inspiration to me and to so many of us at MetroPCS. He was an unusual person in business: a genuine visionary who could see beyond the horizon better than anyone. I owe him a great personal debt for the opportunity he afforded me and I will always treasure his memory."
"It was a great honor to have served Roger as his assistant for 14 years. I respected him as a business man as he lead the company with such compassion and shared his blessings with us all. I have many fond memories of the many hours we worked on board presentations, preparing for committee and board meetings. Sitting in on board meetings I saw him at his best, making decisions and having a vision for what was needed for the future growth of the company and making the company a success. Roger will be missed by many and appreciated by many who he helped be successful. I will cherish the memories I have of having worked with such a great man. He's only gone to rest for a while...I believe in my heart that someday we will all see him again. My prayers and love are for all of the family he left behind, that he loved very much, and for his loving, and very special wife who always stood by his side. May you rest in peace Roger!"
"In Loving Memory of Roger to his beloved family:
Fill not your hearts with pain and sorrow, but remember me in every tomorrow. Remember the joy, the laughter, the smiles. I've only gone to rest for a while. Although my leaving causes pain and grief, my going has eased my hurt and given me relief. So dry your eyes and remember me, not as I am but as I used to be. Because, I will remember you all and look on with a smile. Understand in your hearts, I've only gone to rest a while. As long as I have the love of you. I can live my life in the hearts of all of you."
"Dear Family of Roger,
I'm sorry that you are experiencing the mourning of losing a love one. Many if not all of us has experienced this, but I would like to share a brief scripture that will may just bring you comfort.
(Acts 24:15) "And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous."
Thanks for reading."
"Thank you so much Roger for being such a wonderful human being and such an inspiration to my mother. MARY HUGHES. My eyes fill with tears as I write this because I know what you meant to my mother and you were always so kind and loving every time I had the opportunity to meet you. I remember you would always say take care of this woman I don't know what I would do without her. So I will just as you did take such good care of my mother. I am confident knowing that our heavenly father with receive you with open arms and he has a seat for you at his table with your name written on it. You have made such a huge impact on my life and many others and you will be greatly missed but most importantly your heart for God and your family is what I and many others will never forget. I pray peace, comfort, and blessings over your family and I will never forget all the times my mom would come home and say what an amazing boss she has and I hope one day I can become a man that people respect as much as you. You are truly a Godly man."
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