Dr. Jan B Roosa.

Dr. Jan B Roosa, 94, of KCMO died peacefully in the company of family on Tues Dec 21, 2021. He was born to professors Walter Laidlaw Roosa and Giannina Bertorotta Roosa on April 19, 1927, in Urbana, Illinois. His childhood tales included freely roaming Urbana’s streets at age 5 and riding along on housecalls with his uncle, a doctor who worked until he was 98. No doubt inspired by him, he made an effort to stay healthy; his pockets rattled with vitamins he would carry. He never planned to retire, and worked as a clinical psychologist until Nov 10, the day before he went into the hospital.

He graduated from the University Laboratory High School (a.k.a. Uni High) and the University of Illinois and earned both a master’s and PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver. His Competence Based programs and decision-making models, including SOCS and later variations, help people in his community and far beyond navigate challenges and conflicts every day, and have been adopted by numerous schools and community organizations. He taught everyone he met something, if they would listen. Over his long career he was in private practice for over 58 years, taught at William Woods College, UMKC, and KU Med, and worked with youth, with the Mattie Rhodes Center, the Black Panthers, the Air Force, the VA, University of Denver, and many hospitals.

Jan always had a joke for his fellow golfers, enjoyed sharing the newspaper comics, and loved good and bad puns. He wore the same tweed hat every winter and was once known for his wild golf pants (finally shelved in the late 80s). A child of the Great Depression, he wouldn’t waste money on a new car. He instead supported local car repair shops. He served as a Navy corpsman during WWII and Korea. He raged against government and corporate bureaucracy, even in his last days.

Jan is survived by his loving wife, Joan Roosa; children and stepchildren Sarah Ferrise, Todd Edgington, Mark Silvey, and Rhonda Roosa; grandchildren Martin Edgington, William Edgington, Cody Brown, Shayne Brown, Mark Silvey, Jr., Stephanie Brownlee, Kaden Walker, August Walker; and great grandchild Bentley Brownlee; and many friends. He was predeceased by his parents and 2 children, David Roosa and Juliana Brown.

A celebration of Dr. Jan B Roosa’s life will be held from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM Saturday, April 16, 2022 at Heartland Cremation and Burial Society: 6113 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown MO 64133. To view Jan’s Service click on the following link at 2:00 PM the day of the service. JAN ROOSA’S CELEBRATION OF LIFE.

Military Honors: Taps & Presentation of the Flag. 2:00 PM
Visitation 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Sharing of Jan’s Eulogy by family and friends: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Until then “stay in trouble.”


  1. Happy we crossed paths on December 31, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Rest well Dr. Roosa,

    Speaking with you gave me a new perspective.I have carried the cards with your saying on me for years. Comfort to your family. One thing at a time.

  2. Fred Lee Slough on January 3, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Jan will be greatly missed by his golf partners. I was 1 of those since the 70s when I was lucky enough to play with him, Russell Millin, Gene Wagner and others.

    Jan was amazing. At age 94 he could still run down the fairway when he wanted to. He had good advice for anyone who would ask for it and was willing to listen.

    Fred Slough

  3. Rhonda Stahl on January 3, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    Dr. Roosa, I’m grateful I met you through my sister. Even though I’m in Montana. The world will feel your loss as do I??

  4. LaRonica Birmingham on January 12, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    I’m grateful I had the pleasure in meeting you! Thank you, rest well!

  5. Anne L. Christman on January 12, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    I am devastated to learn the news of Dr. Roosa’s passing. To say that I am honored to have known him would be an understatement. I worked with Dr. Roosa for over 10 years, and he was extraordinarily meaningful and special to me. We shared a unique relationship. I’m also the one who made his business cards that say, “Stay in the Verb, Dammit!” with a picture of his face superimposed over a brain pumping iron. He loved them and then wanted bumper stickers! I would work with him on Saturday afternoons to assist him in his next book that he’d been working on for years. I still have probably 500 pages of all the work we’d done on that book in print and digital formats, and would love to be able to pass these files along to Mrs. Roosa or their children if they are interested in publishing his book in his honor. I will leave my contact information at the end as I have no contact information for Mrs. Roosa or their children and I’m living in Chicago now. In fact, I insisted that there was only ONE person I MUST SEE before I got in the moving truck that Saturday morning in September 2019 to get on the highway to Chicago for our move, and that was Dr. Roosa. I would not leave Kansas City without hugging him one more time. If Mrs. Roosa or their children would like me to forward the manuscripts and drafts of his book I was assisting him with, if he hadn’t finished it, I may be reached at anne.l.christman@gmail.com, anne@muhammadlawgroup.com, 312-975-3883 (my cell), or 872-762-3029 (my office). Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss. I count Dr. Roosa as one of the most important and meaningful people in my life and I truly loved him with all my heart. God bless him and his family. Anne L. Christman

  6. Amy Lawder on January 18, 2022 at 1:01 am

    Dr. Roosa,
    I still have your cards too and refer to them often. I can’t thank you enough for your wisdom, kindness, humor, and honesty. To a life well lived! Oh… And I too will try to stay in trouble!

  7. Cory & Cecilia Bryars on January 18, 2022 at 11:32 am

    Dear Roosa Family, Jan helped my wife and I over some hurdles we wouldn’t have cleared alone. And in that process we learned some lifelong lessons and will always remember their source. Condolences and Comfort to you along the many pleasant memories that must have been formed as you all stayed in trouble together! Peace and Trouble to all!!!

  8. Angela Arvanitakis on January 30, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    I wish I had met this man. I picked up this book from a friend and I am really enjoying it. So I googled him. Sorry to hear that he passed. What an inspiration he must of been. So full of life. Sorry for your loss. You must all be so proud of this man and the difference he made in this community.

  9. courtney on February 12, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    Dr Roosa went above& beyond and always made me smile! I’m so greatful!!! he was so wonderful& so kind! xo C

  10. Melanie on February 15, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    As a patient of his he changed my life and even saved it in away. I am forever grateful.. His legacy will live on threw generations to come. My condolences to his family.. he was truly one in a million.

  11. Kayla on February 16, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    To Dr. Roosa

    Thank you for helping me find myself. To opening my eyes to what I was, am, and will be capable of. Your kind (but always stern heart) will never be forgotten and made one of the strongest impacts in my life.

  12. Thomas W. Scott on March 27, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Jan and I practiced together on Wornall for more than a few years. When I got arrested for providing a suffering patient with medical marijuana, I was plucked from society and put in a prison. He was very good to me and my wife during my two year “sabbatical.” When I got out he insisted that I get my license back, “ because our field and others need you.” He said he would supervise me. This he did. And my practice is thriving thanks to his loving, kindness and support.
    I was fortunate to talk to him a few months back and told him I loved, respected and appreciated him and all he stood for. ??????
    Jan, you were a very fine man, who gave me a very high, “Roosa” compliment. “Tom, you’re a marvelous militant.” RIP my friend.

  13. Joann Zibers-SW Florida on March 31, 2022 at 12:00 am

    I was just thinking of you the other day. And now see you have passed. I loved chatting with you and hearing about your ventures , beliefs and learning from you. A very educated and intelligent caring person. With a great sense of humor! Rest in peace Jan!

  14. Dima Estanbuli on April 21, 2022 at 10:58 am

    I am so sorry that this day had to come. I will miss dr Roosa so much. I consider it one of the best things to have happened to me to have met him and went to therapy with him. I am a violinist and he always knew what to say to me to make the struggle I face with playing the violin, or any other struggle for that matter, seem like a series of things to do and skills to learn. I wish he knows how appreciative I am of all his listening, advices, therapy, logic, kindness and compassion. Rest In Peace Dr Roosa and many thanks to you and to your family too.

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