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Updated 8/6/19

John G. Rothrock

Old Timers, Plus Squares, Shooting Stars, Swinging Squares
KSDA President 1992-1994

John G. Rothrock, 86, passed away on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

John was born on February 1, 1933, in Wellington, Kansas, to Kenneth M. and Burchie (Hodges) Rothrock. He graduated from Wellington High School in 1952 where he was senior class president and was chosen to play for the All-State High School football team. John attended the University of Kansas and was a member of the KU football team. He married his high school sweetheart, Janet Fisher on August 14, 1955, at First United Methodist Church in Wellington, Kansas.

John was Topeka's City Traffic Engineer from 1966 until he retired in June 1994. Earlier he joined the Kansas State Highway Commission as a Traffic Control Engineer and later became Assistant City Traffic Engineer for Topeka. During his career he was active in the Institute of Transportation Engineers Missouri Valley Section, holding various offices including president of the six state organizations. He also was a founding member and first president of the Kansas Association for Uniform Traffic Control, assisting various Kansas communities and counties in providing standardized traffic control including signs, signals, and pavement markings.

John served as Cub Scout Master of Cub Pack No. 47 and Chief of the YMCA city-wide Y-Indian Guides program. He was president of the Topeka Breakfast Optimist Club and very active in the forming its flag football program and youth basketball programs. John was an early promoter of the Ken Berry Baseball League and served many offices on its board, including president, and coaching two baseball teams. John officiated high school football for 30 years in Kansas and was a member of the Topeka Officials Association. He was a longtime member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church (ELCA) serving on the church council and as president at various times.

In retirement, he volunteered at Doorstep and represented his church as a member of its board. He also volunteered at the Shepherd's Center of Topeka. John served the City of Topeka Retirees as liaison to the Benefits and Wellness advisory committee and president.

As an avid golfer he was a member of the Lake Shawnee Golf Course Men's Club serving as president many times and assisting the Kansas Golf Association as a golf course rating team member. He was chairman of the Kansas Senior Olympics Board. He also served on the board of the Topeka Knife and Fork Club.

John and Janet were square dancers and held offices in their local club and at the state level, including president of the Kansas Square Dance Association for 2 years. They were also the Education Chairpersons of the United Square Dancers of America. They were charter members of the Shooting Stars and help this club form. They supported clubs in the Topeka and northeast Kansas area being The Old Timers, Plus Squares and Swinging Squares. In 2002 they were the dancer coordinators that organized the Kansas State Square Dance Convention. They were members of KansasDA starting in 1981 until 2005, when health issues interfered with dancing.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Janet; two sons, Steve (Cindy) and James (Kay); three grand-children, Brady (Kiersten), Allyson, and Jaeden; and two great-grandsons, Win and another due in September.

John was preceded in death by his parents, and one brother, Kenneth Rothrock of Waterville, Ohio.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

To leave a special message for the family please visit

Published in Topeka Capital-Journal from August 4 to August 5, 2019