Aug. 9, 1933 – May 12, 2022
Roland (Rollie) David Rogers died peacefully on May 12, 2022, in Tigard, Oregon, at the age of 88.
Rollie was born in Independence, Oregon, on Aug. 9, 1933. The oldest child of the late Joseph (Joe) Warren Rogers and Evelyn Ruth Rogers, he grew up on the family dairy farm with his four younger sisters. He was a member of the first graduating class of Central High School in Independence, Oregon, in 1951 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science from Oregon State University in 1955, and a master’s degree in Public Administration in 1972. While in college, he enrolled in NROTC and graduated from OSU as a Navy Ensign. His first tour of duty was aboard the USS Cimarron, stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.
Rollie left the Navy after serving his required service. He married Joanne Woodruff (Eugene, Oregon) and the two returned to Independence to help his dad run the dairy. He found he missed military life, so he returned to the Navy and served on active duty for 20 years, retiring with the rank of Captain. His tours of duty included the Philippines, Japan, Washington D.C., Vietnam, San Diego, California and Okinawa.
After his Navy retirement, Rollie joined Interstate Electronics, Inc. in Anaheim, California, as a program manager. After 10 years in private industry, he and Joanne relocated to Olympia, Washington, where they planned to retire and spend as much time as possible with their grandchildren. Though not actively farming the family land, farming remained in his blood. He had retained 160 acres of the original Century farm in Independence after the dairy operation sold and he leased the farmland to a neighboring farmer. He divided his time between Olympia, where he maintained his sailboat, and Independence, where he managed the rental homes on the property and maintained the buildings and farm equipment. He spent many happy hours “on the farm” and on his sailboat.
Sadly, Joanne passed away unexpectedly in 2009. Rollie became reacquainted with his childhood friend, Joan Lanke, and they married in 2011. The two moved to Summerfield Estates, a retirement community in Tigard, Oregon, in 2012.
Always athletic, Rollie became an avid tennis player and golfer during his years in the military and though arthritis made tennis difficult in his later years, he continued to play golf up until his 85th birthday. He was an animal lover who always had a loyal dog by his side. He loved to eat, especially if it was seafood, and he always had music playing in the house and a golf tournament on TV. A favorite lifetime activity was debating his kids about the issues of the day where he loved to play devil’s advocate, much to their frustration.
Rollie is survived by his second wife Vernita (Joan) Lanke; his children Debora Scott, (Mike) Douglas Rogers, (Erin) Mark Rogers, (Lindsay); his sisters, Jo Anne Veatch (William) and Loeta Rogers (Kent); and grandchildren, Nicholas Rogers, (Virginia) Sean Rogers, Kate Scott, Zoe Rogers, Darby Rogers; and great-grandson, Milo Rogers; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
We will celebrate his life at noon on Saturday, July 16 at Masonic Memorial Park, 455 North Street SE, Olympia, Washington. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the U.S. Department of Veteran Services or the American Diabetes Association.
Funeral Alternatives in Tumwater, Washington is handling the arrangements.