Robert Wallace Rogers died peacefully on June 25, 2020. Bob was an enthusiastic, compassionate, humble man who loved everyone. He had a huge heart and a broad grin that exuded his zest for life and enthusiasm for connecting with others. Bob worked endlessly to make everyone feel valued and appreciated.
Bob lived his entire life in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1947. His buddies from his school years remained his treasured friends for life. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Wabash College, his father’s alma mater, in 1951 with a degree in mathematics and physics, Bob entered the Coast Guard Academy. After graduation from the Academy, he served in the South Pacific during the Korean War. Guided by his much-respected mentor Byron K. Trippet, Bob entered the banking field and was employed by Elston Bank/Merchants/National City, where he enjoyed working with his colleagues, local farmers, business owners, and community members. He had a genuine appreciation for numbers, but his true passion was people.
Another important aspect of Bob’s life was a driving desire to improve and support his community. He loved sports beginning with his time as an athlete and then throughout many years as a loyal fan of local teams. His celebratory walk with friends Max Suiters and Phil Springer from Crawfordsville to Waynetown after the Gladiators’ legendary sectional win in 1970 was one of his fondest memories. He repeated that walk for both daughters’ senior basketball sectional teams, though the walk was a shorter hike to North Montgomery. He also loved leading the CHARGE cheer at NMHS games and spelling WABASH at Wabash games. His love of community, however, was not limited to sports. He spent many happy hours working with the Waynetown Merchants at the annual fish fry and at the Dip-N-Dive pool and helping build the first shelter house at the lovely park. During his career, Bob served on many boards, including the Waynetown Merchants Association, the Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County, CHS Alumni Board, and the Crisis Shelter Board. After retirement, Bob was a dedicated volunteer for Meals on Wheels, for which he spent hours organizing and mapping the routes and delivering meals. Bob was thrilled to drive around town after a big snow, secretly clearing the driveways of friends, his church (First Christian), and any public place that needed a cleared spot.
Bob Rogers was a totally devoted family man and was married to Nancy Gardner Rogers for 65 years. He was the best, most intuitive, father in the world to daughters Robin and Karen and their husbands Greg and Dan. Bob was elated to receive perhaps his most-loved title of Grandpa and later Boo to his great grands. He was a light beyond measure and is considered to be a giant of a man (or some little giant) by every one of them. His family will celebrate him every day for the rest of their lives.
Bob was born to Azel Clyde and Sallie Lee Sparks Rogers and had two siblings, Sallie Lee Rogers Taylor and Charles Chandler Rogers, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife Nancy Ann Gardner Rogers and daughters Robin Starnes (Greg) of Vandalia, IL, Karen Breault (Dan) of Dayville, CT; grandchildren Cameron Starnes (Brooke) of Indianapolis, Adrian Starnes (Megan) of Bloomington, Taylor Breault (Ellen) of Indianapolis, and Kelsey Breault Rictor (Kyle) of Brooklyn, CT; great grandchildren Anderson and Jude Starnes, Charlotte and Penelope Starnes, Liberty Breault, and Daisy and Samuel Wallace Rictor.
If Bob Rogers had some advice to deliver to others it would likely include the following: above all else, be kind; respect everyone; when in doubt or fear, smile and stay positive; nickname all your buddies; play a crazy practical joke or two (or hundred); and create a collection of detailed, entertaining stories and tell them again and again and again! And go, Cardinals!
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ of Crawfordsville or to the Montgomery County Community Foundation. Bob’s family looks forward to the retelling of stories and memories at Bob’s celebration of life party, which will be held at a later date. Sanders Priebe Funeral Care entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at www.sandersfuneralcare.com
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