Maryland victims’ rights activist Vincent Roper dies at 79 -- Gazette.Net


Vincent Roper, 79, a long-time advocate for Victims’ Rights in Maryland, passed away early Thursday morning after experiencing trouble breathing, the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center announced this morning.

His death came just hours after Roper received a Governor’s proclamation on April 3, crediting the work of Roper and his wife Roberta for victim’s rights, which included the founding, in 1982, of the Stephanie Roper Committee and Foundation, Inc. after the kidnapping, rape and murder of their daughter Stephanie, a senior at Frostburg State University, on April 3, 1982. The organization is now known as the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc.

In paying tribute to Vincent Roper, Governor Martin O’Malley said, “Along with his wife Roberta, Vince Roper worked tirelessly to see that victims of crime were treated with dignity and respect, and given all the rights due under law. When the laws were proven to be inadequate, they worked to get old laws changed, or new laws passed. Countless Marylanders have benefitted from their dedicated service and thousands of lives are better because of their work.“

Vincent William Roper was born June 27, 1933 in Hazleton, PA. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with the class of 1956. After serving numerous tours around the world as a naval officer, he retired as a captain with more than 30 years of service. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Most Holy Rosary Council No. 11511 and the Naval Weather Service Association.

His family includes his wife, Roberta Roper; children Stephanie Roper (deceased), Sharon Thompson, Brian Roper, Daniel Roper and Peter Roper; and grandchildren Samia Roper (deceased), Jacob Roper, Jessica Thompson, Matthew Thompson, Henry Roper, Sarah Thompson, Vincent Thompson (deceased), Megan Kaiser and Douglas Kaiser.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Saint Joseph’s Center, 11704 Duley Station Road, Upper Marlboro. Visitation is from 9:30-11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Roberta Roper requests donations to the MCVRC or to the Stephanie Roper Scholarship at Frostburg in his memory. Donations for either can be sent to MCVRC, 1001 Prince George’s Blvd., Suite 750, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774.