Mendon Schools Superintendent dies in tree-trimming accident

Posted at 11:25 AM, Dec 27, 2017

MENDON, Mich. – Mendon Community Schools are mourning the loss of Superintendent Roger Rathburn.

In a post on the school district’s website Wednesday, the district says Rathburn died in a “tragic accident at Sauganash Golf Course.”  The golf course is in Three Rivers.

Grief counselors will be available for students and staff from 9:00 a.m. until Noon in the High School office on Thursday, December 28.  Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

The district statement says:

Our district lost a champion for kids, a visionary leader, and a generous administrator. Mr. Rathburn came to Mendon and transformed our school culture with his enthusiasm and his unparalleled commitment. His loss will reverberate throughout our district indefinitely. He was a friend to us all, and we are truly devastated.

Michigan State Police say they were called to the golf course about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Rathburn was involved in the ownership of the golf course and was trimming trees alone when the incident took place.  Police say it appears that a branch either knocked him off his ladder or knocked the ladder out from under him and he landed on a concrete golf path.  He died at the scene.

Police also say that it was not uncommon for Rathburn to be at the course and working.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. Police say there is nothing about the incident that appears to be suspicious.