The Board of Directors and staff of Open Door Health Center are saddened to report the passing of David Roesler, the organizations executive director. Roesler guided Open Door since 2000, leading it to greater prominence in providing quality programs and services the community relies on to decrease the stigma related to sexual health and wellness and increase opportunities for healthcare equality.
Roesler came to Open Door an experienced leader. His passion for people lead him to a career in the ministry, and then to a 30-year career in public service. As a champion for the community, his passion was apparent to everyone he met. His professional endeavors included work at North Central Illinois Youth Services Bureau, Little City Foundation, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.
While leading Open Door Health Center, Roesler established a solid foundation for organizational growth and a bright future. Developing infrastructure and processes, he was able to make significant strides in providing better healthcare and services for people who are HIV+ and for those seeking STI services. To further the cause, he was active in the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's Service Providers Council, the Collar County Consortium, Elgin Executive Directors group,
Roesler's accomplishments included leading the organization from six to 40 staff, implementing an Electronic Medical Record and diversifying funding to increase unrestricted revenue. His shared vision of increased stigma-free healthcare opportunities lead to the purchase and renovation of the Open Door Elgin Health Center and substantial progress on a Primary Care Medical Home certification.
"David approached life with enthusiasm, courage, dignity and grace. He has been an inspiration to everyone who has known him," said Ryan Howarter, president of the Open Door board. "His presence will be missed, but his spirit will live on in the legacy of the work done and the lives touched. David always said that he was planting seeds. His seeds will grow and continue forever. Our thoughts are with David's family. We extend our condolences and strongest support to them."
He is survived by his husband Eric Kohnke, of North Aurora; two sons Dan ( Sarah ) Roesler of Channahon, Illinois, and Jon Roesler of Wilmington, Illinois; one grandson Grant; his parents Donald Sr. and Jane Roesler of Ottawa; a brother Donald Jr. Roesler of Nevada; two sisters Linda Fallquist of Arizona and Gail Burke of Ottawa; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held 4-8 p.m., Friday, March 18, 2016 at Moss-Norris Funeral Home, 100 S. Third Street ( three blocks west of the Fox River, one block south of Route 64 ), Saint Charles, Illinois. A memorial service will be held 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at First Congregational Church of Geneva, 321 Hamilton St., Geneva, Illinois.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Open Door, c/o David M. Roesler Memorial, 1665 Larkin Ave., Elgin, IL 60123 or at www.odhcil.org .
Open Door has been providing sexual health and wellness services since 1977. Services include stigma-free primary medical care, HIV/AIDS specialty care including case management, peer education, and oral health, behavioral health and substance abuse and comprehensive sexually transmitted infection ( STI ) service. Locations in Aurora and Elgin, Illinois serve more than 1,1000 people within 5 counties.