Roger Sexton, 'Survivor' Alum, Dead at 76

Roger Sexton, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served during the Vietnam War and competed on Survivor, has died. He was 76. Sexton appeared on Survivor: The Amazon, the show's sixth season, which aired in 2003.

Sexton died on Wednesday, Oct. 26 after a "valiant and courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia," according to his obituary. He was surrounded by his family at a hospice in Walla Walla, Washington. He is survived by his wife, Diane; his daughter Amy; his two grandchildren; and his two sisters. Sexton and Diane also had a second daughter, Heather, who died of viral pneumonia in 1992 at 16. The Sexton family plans to hold a Celebration of Life at their home in Walla Walla this spring.

Sexton was born in Oakland, California on Sept. 26, 1946. After high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. When he returned from his tour of duty, he married Diane and enrolled at California Polytechnic Institute San Louis Obispo. Sexton earned a degree in Construction Management and had a successful career in estimation. He worked as senior estimator and vice president at Tutor Perini Construction. Sexton also enjoyed backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas and skiing in California, Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado, his family said.

In 2002, he was cast in Survivor. His season was notable for featuring a team of men competing against a team of women, notes TVLine. He became the leader of his tribe, using his skills in construction to build a livable shelter for his team. However, his personality led to clashes with the younger contestants. When the two teams merged later in the season, Sexton was the first contestant sent home. Sexton did not appear in any subsequent Survivor season.

Lewy Body Dementia is the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, notes the Mayo Clinic. It is caused when protein deposits called Lewy bodies develop in nerve cells in the brain areas that are involved in thinking, memory, and movement. "Lewy body dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities," the Mayo Clinic's website reads. "People with Lewy body dementia might have visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson's disease signs and symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement, walking difficulty, and tremors."