Bruce Rogers passed away Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Providence Medford Medical Center. Bruce was born to Oscar and Bertha Rogers February 15, 1924, in Fresno, Calif. He grew up in Fresno and graduated from high school in 1942.
He entered the U.S. Army June 25, 1943. In addition to basic training, he received 12 weeks of specialized training in basic engineering. He served with the 94th Division and was involved in fighting in Northern France, Central Europe, the Rhineland, and the Ardennes. He was a messenger. He delivered messages from command posts to the front lines, armed with a hand gun with six bullets. He reported that he never had to use the gun but had some close calls. His messages included important orders and secret orders. He was discharged from the Army June 15, 1946.
He returned to college studies with the aid of the GI Bill. He was able to go to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. (a Christian liberal arts college) where he continued to grow in his faith. He received a degree of A.B. in Christian education in 1948. He then attended Dallas Theological Seminary and graduated with a major in New Testament in 1952 with a Th.M.
On June 29, 1952, he married Marian Louise Clark, his sweetheart from Fresno. They moved to San Francisco where he taught as a college professor at the San Francisco Baptist College, teaching Bible, Greek, and Christian education. While living there they had two children: John Bruce, born October 20, 1953 and Dorothy Louise, born on April 4, 1955.
Bruce, Marian, John, and Dorothy moved back to Fresno in 1957 where Bruce was ordained as a Minister at the Millbrae Baptist Church June 3, 1957. In 1957 he became Christian Education Director at Memorial Baptist Church in Fresno until 1960. In 1961 he spent a short time teaching special education at Parlier Elementary School in Fresno County.
In 1962 he was called to become Pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church in Medford, Ore. He served in that capacity until 1965. He returned to college to obtain a Secondary Teaching Certificate and from 1966 until his retirement he taught English at Phoenix High School in Phoenix, Ore. He enjoyed teaching his students Shakespearean plays and taking them to see them in Ashland, Ore. He graded many creative writing and poetry assignments and loved to teach Bible as Literature classes.
While retired, he served as interim pastor in Merlin and Foots Creek, Ore. He was actively involved as a member in First Baptist Church and Eastwood Baptist Church. He often would teach adult Sunday school classes, do hospital visitation, perform weddings and memorial services, as well as substitute for local pastors. Later, he was an involved attendee at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
He and Marian moved to Fountain Plaza almost 16 years ago. Here too he was active and involved in many facets of life at Fountain Plaza. He faithfully and lovingly cared for his wife until her death February 17, 2005. He loved to take part in reading plays and poetry readings. He even acted in a commercial for Fountain Plaza dressed as a pirate in a black curly wig.
He was often thought of as the pastor at Fountain Plaza. He was a real leader in Vespers, a nondenominational worship service on Sunday afternoons. He preached occasionally, served monthly Communion, and worked with other residents to schedule local pastors to lead Vespers. He helped put together a song book of favorite hymns. Was someone ill? Was someone in the hospital? Was someone in a rehab facility? He visited them until it got to be too much for him in the past few months.
He had the gift of reaching out to all around him and was respected and loved by many. He had a well-developed sense of humor, especially for puns. (Have you ever known anyone else who owned a book entitled The Complete Book of Puns?. He made countless personalized, unique greeting cards on his computer for his family and friends. These cards included original photos, often of the recipient. He spent hours creating these wonderful and often humorous cards.
He was a rare and wonderful Man of God. His kind, humble service to all around him and his genuine interest and acceptance, attracted many to the source of his life, Jesus Christ. We who knew him have been blessed. We hope to follow his example in our lives, and look forward to seeing him again in Heaven.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 20, 2013, at Fountain Plaza, 1441 Morrow Road, Medford, Ore. There will not be a viewing.