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Bill Rogers

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Alcoholism, Baby Boomers, Faith, Life Stories, Sports

This story is from my Dad who I interviewed a few months before he passed on October 16, 2019. He shares about his childhood, sports, family and faith.

Full Interview


Full Interview


  1. Brian Goslee

    This is a beautiful story in so many ways and hopefully will be shared! Capturing the story was beautiful in itself. It is honoring to your dad, honoring to God, and honoring to fathers and their families. Thank you Gary, and Bill in heaven! *

  2. Gary Rogers

    In reply to Brian Goslee.
    Thanks Brian for sharing your comments about my Dad. It was unexpected and very much appreciated. I can’t wait until I tell my Mom that Dad has another comment for her to read.

  3. Elizabeth Abide

    Gary, Thank you for sharing your Dad’s story. I am speechless. I know that it is easy to assume, when someone is happy, that they had it easy. What an amazing gift that your Dad had to know Jesus and persevere as a child and then to enjoy life and raise such a wonderful family.

  4. Patty Jean Rogers Smith

    Gary, God bless you for the awesome and sweet memories of your Dad. I remember him as a little boy and he was so precious! My memories go back to age three. I was born on Neville Island Aug 21, 1937. Wish I could write a book. My younger sister Carolyn and I went to visit them in Sept 2000. (I think it was then.) Met your Mom for the first time and I loved her from that moment! This story seals what I knew about both of them just by visiting for a day ~ they were both wonderful Christian people! I am very happy to have been able to meet your Dad as an adult! I always felt very bad for him because he was estranged from his dad. Had no idea about his stepdad. God bless him for being such a wonderful Daddy to his boys. I was blessed to have a Christian Daddy.
    Love and prayers, Patty

  5. Jane McDonald

    What a loving tribute to your father and lasting treasure for the family. Bill was a gentle man and a beautiful Christian example. He was truly blessed with a wonderful wife and mother of his children.

  6. Dave Berens

    Always amazes me when people that have such a hard life as a youngster end up so positive and full of life.
    Glad I heard your dads story and glad you had that last weekend with him.

  7. Gary Rogers

    In reply to Dave Berens.
    Thanks Dave! He left just like he wanted to as he was talking about going to Lake Norris for many days ahead of that date we went. I’m also glad that I was a part of that trip picking him up to then the time in Atlanta even though it wasn’t easy! Appreciate your comments. G

  8. Charline

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful memories of your Father, Gary.

  9. Andy Oldham

    What a beautiful and amazing story! Thanks for sharing this testimony!

  10. Peggy Bodde

    I just reread this story, and I cry every time. I’m completely moved by the love in your family, Gary, and the legacy of faith that both of your parents gifted to you. We lost my father-in-law to cancer, and it’s so painful to see our loved ones suffer. Thank you for sharing your stories and for all you do for God’s Kingdom. I’m proud and grateful to call you friend!

  11. Luella Rogers Burke

    Bill and I grew up together on Neville Island. Our fathers were brothers his mom and my step mom sisters as my birth mom died at my birth. Bill re my dad,Milburn, as a dad. Bill spent a lot of time at our house…we played a lot of cards. Bill went to Arkansas w us a couple of times…my dad wanted him to see his birth dad…but that did not last. When his dad came to PA my dad would sneak Bill to our house. Our grandmother Rogers was an amazing woman. 12 sons. 1 daughter. 3 sons killed at once in Sewickley…train hit them coming home from work…2 more killed in industrial accidents on Neville Is. They like my dad came north from ARK fo work a common migration in the 30 ies. She outlived 7 of her 13 children…but…never gave up her fight. Bill and I have about 20 Rogers first cousins…from a 3 star airforce general…supt of school..farmer..etc. I am in contact / have been with only 7 or 8. I so wanted to represent the Rogers at Bill’s service but major surgery this past week prevents me from travel. I’m proud to call GGGG FAMILY. Jean too.

  12. Ryan Vlasic

    CommentGary this is awesome. Uncle Bill was truly a great man, and you should be proud to be his son. I will never forget how he spoke at my wedding and how sincere he was about his testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ.

  13. MIchael Ward

    I got know your dad through Grady’s participation on our lacrosse team at IH. He was the silent coach in the stands but always gave us congrats when we earned them and comments to improve as a team when needed them. He was a great guy and admired by many others in the community and region. He will be missed greatly and I am sorry for you loss. God has gained a champion in Heaven!

  14. Rob Korlewitz

    Over the two decades that I’ve known Bill, he always treated me like a family member. He never really talked about himself, he would always ask how everyone else was doing. He loved to talk about his boys and his grandkids and how proud he was of the things they were doing. Jesus and his family were the joys of his life and if you spent a minute or two with him, it would show.

  15. Jill Rogers

    I am so blessed to have a father-in-law who loves Jesus with his whole being & was passionate to share with his family how this great love changed his life. I’m so thankful for his commitment to praying for us daily. He is deeply missed & the family won’t feel complete without him but I’m thankful he is not miserable anymore and is with his greatest love Jesus!

  16. Ashley Rogers

    Grandpa was such a strong Christian man and I loved hearing him talk about the Lord. He was always so giving to us and you knew that he loved his family. I love and miss him but I know I’ll see him again one day.

  17. Andrew Rogers

    Grandpa, I Iove you from the bottom of my heart and I hope to see you one day in heaven where you are now. I now respect him dearly for how he has influenced my Christian walk and always encouraging me. I appreciated all the puzzles we did together and I now cherish those memories. I will miss you dearly.

  18. Kelsey

    Grandpa was so giving and caring. He always asked about me and my future plans and I knew how much he truly cared about them. I will miss his wise calm presence. I am so glad that his earthly pain is gone although I will miss him very much I know he is seeing the most beautiful things and I look forward to seeing him again one day.

  19. Benjamin

    Grandpa was so giving and always wanted everyone around him to be happy. I’m sad that he’s gone but I’m happy that after always thinking of others and after all the pain that he’s happy now and I can’t wait to see him one day.

  20. Dick and Dian Wilkinson

    Dick and I were always graciously welcomed by Bill Jean for Bible studies and other occasions. Bill was always eager to give an opening prayer and also to start our meetings. We admired his faith and dedication and love for the Lord. Bill had great love and support for his wife Jean and family. Bill was an early supporter of our new Church, Village Park. Dick will always remember the fun times he had with Bill at the golf course. He was a humble man, modest and never boasted. Dick always said, “I wish I could golf like him.” I remember how protective Jean was of Bill and how she wanted him not to do too much around the house, but when she would leave to do errands, he would get up and do projects he shouldn’t have done, like move furniture or bringing something down from the attic! He will be greatly missed. Love Dick and Dian

  21. Dave (Big Dave)

    Your dad allowed us to become the best of of friends, for life…gave you/ us the freedom and trust to grow and become men. I never once heard about waking him up with a late night phone call… so me, you and Ryan could talk, trying to figure life out, or have a good laugh. I love your dad and always appreciated his humble, calm, steady way of being engaged. Will miss your presence, Bill. Thanks for being a great role model. Peace.

  22. Ryan Paul

    CommentMr. Rogers was a man of integrity and a person that I respected. He was a quiet, strong force with unmeasurable generosity. I knew Mr. Rogers because I was best friends with his son, Gary, from grade school and beyond.

    While a specific story (or two) could help demonstrate Mr. Rogers’ character, I’d like to share my memories of being around Mr. Rogers. I always felt welcomed and included. Mr. Rogers treated me as a member of his family; at the dinner table (always well fed), on vacation, and playing sports in their backyard. He was a wonderful person and I am privileged to have had known for most of my life.


  23. Favorite Grandson (Brandon)

    Grandpa was such a loving grandparent to me. He always did things to make me happy. He taught my dad to love and be so loving to me. My favorite memory of Grandpa is that he would take me to get ice cream in the golf cart. I miss you and I hope to see you again some day.

  24. Jean Rogers (Mom)

    Dear Gary, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time with a strong conviction and determination to get Dad’s story recorded. What a gift you have given me, our family and others to read. Dad wanted to be a witness for Jesus and now you are a part of making that happen. I love you!

  25. Grady Rogers

    My Dad started at 5/3 Bank in 78’ as a branch manager and was later the sole person that spear headed our Fifth Third Bank’s “Public Funds” sales department. Public Funds created so much success in Ohio that other banks started to create their own public funds groups. Bankers across 5/3 refereed to my Dad as “Mr. Public Funds” and I have two funny stories to share as part of his legacy at the bank.

    1 – Everyone at the Bank knew that my Dad loved to eat (like father like son lol), and one of those things was ice cream at Dairy Queen. Supposedly, he knew where every single Dairy Queen was in the state of Ohio (before Google Maps on our phones). He spent many hours on the road seeking to gain non-profit business for the Bank and after a big win, he would find the local Dairy Queen and get a banana split. Yum!

    2 – During a round table meeting (at the time CEO George Schaefer and other big wigs as he called them), I guess my Dad went to the restroom, and during the hustle of getting back to the meeting, he failed to realize he had a trail of toilet paper following him! I’m sure all the “big wigs” still laugh about that moment! We always heard this story – and it was great to see that he was able to laugh at himself when I would ask him about this.

    There are still a few employees left at the Bank that worked with my Dad and I would like to share a few quotes from them about Dad:

    “When I was working with your Dad, we spent a lot of time on the road together in Ohio – I will never forget those trips”

    “Your Father always put the customer first”

    “I have so many wonderful memories of your Father. I can still hear his voice when he picked up the phone”

    “He was hands down, the best employee at Fifth Third Bank”

    “The number one thing he cared about was taking care of his family”

    “My Father is now at the retirement center that your Dad helped create and finance – because of that project and many others he helped finance facilities all over Ohio”

    I will never forgot how humble my Dad was about his time and legacy at the Bank, he practically won every single sales competition, he was loved by all, went 100% all in – in whatever he was doing, somehow made it to every single sports game of mine and was always so prepared for every life moment. My Mom is going to do great even though he is not with us; a lot in part because my Dad planned for this moment so that she will not have to financially worry. My Father taught me to have integrity, love, respect, to serve others, be determined with life’s goals and how to be a man of God. I will miss him tremendously and look forward to seeing him one day in Heaven.

  26. Rich Stephenson

    Comment Thank you for sharing.

  27. Janet Vlasic

    What a beautiful and insightful testimony to Bill’s life. Great job!
    In addition to being the best brother-in-law I could have, and a loving husband to my sister, my most fond memories were of when grandma Weidinger moved to Cincinnati. You gained the respect of Al and me for the patience and support you always showed grandma. Since Al and I were living out of state, it was comforting to know that Bill (and Jean) were there to take good care of her. Bill never complained about anything, and he always saw that grandma was loved. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough to show our appreciation….we feel blessed that you were a part of our life.

  28. Wendy Gold

    A sincere and heartfelt tribute to your father Gary. What a wonderful last weekend your family had together and how blessed you were to spend it with your Dad. I never met your Dad, but feel like I knew him through all these personal comments and stories. My condolences.

  29. Billy Southerland

    What an incredible testimony and story. Thank you so much for sharing your dads story. When I think of him I think of how proud he was of his boys, how well he loved your mom and for some reason I think about golf because there was a time when I remember him really wanting to play more. What a beautiful tribute to him this is. What a tremendous example he has set for you all and great words of advice to live your life as he contemplated what he might want to say as his neared the end. I’m proud of you , thankful for you and encourage you to keep following Christ and His leading.

  30. Buck Niehoff

    When Bill worked at Peck, Shaffer & Williams, he and I would travel together around Ohio to visit our clients. He was a delightful companion on the long car rides and our clients appreciate his genuine friendship. Of the many adventures, the one I enjoyed the most involved a meeting at the Ohio Governor’s Residence. I was meeting with First Lady Hope Taft and several other people in the Sun Room of the Residence while Bill waited in the Governor’s Study, which was the next room. He sat in the Governor’s big chair at his desk. The meeting lasted longer than I anticipated and during a thoughtful pause in the discussion our group was interrupted by some loud snoring. Of course, we pretended that we didn’t hear anything. Unfortunately it continued. But it did have the effect of encouraging us to wind up the meeting. I often told this story in Bill’s presence and he would always laugh but he never commented about it.


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