Sunday, May 02, 1999

4,000 gather for Troutman funeral

Friends, family share memories of brothers

Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONROE — Roger and Larry Troutman's funeral service Saturday unfolded much like their lives — a mixture of music and faith, joy and sadness, spirituality and love.

        More than 4,000 friends, family and fans celebrated the brothers' lives before saying goodbye to the two men, who topped the R&B charts but never became too successful to help the people of southwest Ohio.

        Services were held in Solid Rock Church before the two were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

        Police say the brothers died in a murder-suicide April 25, when Larry Troutman shot his brother near the family's recording studio in Dayton before turning the gun on himself.

        Rufus Troutman III, the brothers' nephew, gave a stirring remembrance of the brothers, who were born in Hamilton, before singing “Amazing Grace” with Roger Troutman's trademark “voice box” synthesizer.

        Mr. Troutman III seemed more preacher than musician, at one point calling for everyone who “doesn't know Jesus” to come to the front of the church.

        “I feel like this is a Holy Ghost party,” he said. “I know this ain't on the program, but God ain't got a program.”

        Although there was no mention of the murder-suicide during the ceremony, Dr. Arthur Thomas referred to Larry Troutman's final act in passing.

        “Larry Troutman was a creative genius who loved trying to make a difference,” said Dr. Arthur Thomas. “He fed the hungry, helped the helpless, carried everybody's burden.”

        “Whatever is written or said, Larry Troutman made this a better world.”

        Bishop Rudolph Pringle remembered Roger Troutman as a “natural-born anything.”

        “If anybody knew what God is, Roger did,” Mr. Pringle said. “There are just no superlatives that can describe Roger Troutman.”

        Roger “Little Roger” Troutman, 47, formed Roger & the Human Body in the 1970s. That band would lead him to Zapp, which recorded its first hit in 1980.

        Larry Troutman, 54, started his musical career by playing percussion in Zapp, before eventually becoming the band's manager.

        The brothers owned a number of business enterprises which funneled money back into the community and training unskilled workers for their construction business.


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