Donn E. Rogers passed away peacefully on June 21, 2011, in Medford, Ore. Born on August 11, 1922, in Sacramento, Calif., to Alfred A. Rogers and Mabel (Wilson) Rogers, he grew up in Marysville, Calif., the eldest of five children. His life changed dramatically at age 15, when his mother passed away suddenly, causing him to assume many adult responsibilities.
He joined the Army in 1942, served with the 670th Topographical Engineers in the Philippines, Solomon Islands and in occupied Japan. Following his discharge as a Master Sargeant in 1945, he located to San Francisco and attended college for hotel & restaurant management. In 1948, he studied business at U.S.F., where he met his bride-to-be, Marie T. Scholtz, in a history class. They married in San Francisco the same year and began their family of six children. The family lived in Redwood City, Calif., for 18 years, then Stockton, Calif., for two years, before
finally moving to Medford in 1971. He was a member of Sacred Heart Parish for 40 years.
As a young father, he participated in Toastmasters, provided leadership for Junior
Achievement and Boy Scouts and would encourage every young person he knew to pursue higher education.
Donn worked for Swift & Co, retiring as a comptroller in 1987, after 44 years of service. In
retirement he cared for Marie, who succumbed to cancer in 1992. He later rekindled a
relationship with Donna Nelson, who remained his devoted partner for the next eleven years until her death in 2004. Together they traveled the world and danced to their hearts' content.
His proudest achievements included the smarts to ask Marie out on the last moment of their last class together - the sweet beginning to a 44-year marriage; the completion of his
bachelor's degree after 10 years of night school and 35,000 miles of commuting; and the
devoted and generous parenting of his six children.
In 1978, he took it upon himself to find his fellow 670th Topographical Engineer Army
veterans, beginning a tradition of annual reunions which continue to this day.
Donn loved a good joke, good food, beer and music, especially the 1940's "Big Band" sound. He never met a stranger and was always ready with a fun story or an offer of advice.
A Depression-era childhood taught him the value of a dollar and many other lessons that he passed on to his much-loved children and grandchildren.
Donn was predeceased by his wife, Marie; companion, Donna; eldest son, Rev. John K. Rogers; sister, Betty (Rogers) Fortna; and brother, Jerry Rogers. He is survived by his sisters, Gloria (Rogers) Sherman, Shirley (Rogers) Barnes; children, Karen (Rogers) Nollenberger (Ashland, Ore.), Bob Rogers (Sebastopol, Calif.), Richard Rogers (Medford, Ore.), Jim Rogers (Bellingham, Wash.) and Peggy Rogers (Portland, Ore.); grandchildren, Rob
Nollenberger, Katie Nollenberger, Kristine Rogers, Gregory Rogers, Ryan Rogers, Derek
Rogers and Garret Rogers.
A celebration of his life will be held in September 2011. Memorial contributions can be made to WinterSpring, P.O. Box 8169, Medford, OR 97504.