Edward Rodgers

Jun 29, 1921 - Jul 7, 2014

Obituary

Edward Rodgers passed away on July 6, 2014. He was born in Shenandoah, PA, June 29, 1921, to Walter (Radzevich) Rodgers and Julia Wozniak. His father, Walter, worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines until the early 1930’s when he moved the family to St. Claire Shores, MI. After high school, Ed attended the Detroit Institute of Technology until he joined the Army Air Corps as a cadet at the beginning of World War II. He served as a navigator and bombardier during the war, flying 35 missions in B17s over Germany. Ed met his future wife, Mary Lillian Drennan, upon return from the war at a party in Detroit, MI. A brief courtship ensued. They married on April 3, 1945, and moved to Sacramento, CA where they established their home and began a family. Ed was recalled to service in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict. He rose to the rank of Captain and flew twelve missions over North Korea in a B-29. Upon completing his military service, he returned to Sacramento where he focused on completing his college education. He graduated from Sacramento State College (now California State University, Sacramento) with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry while helping to draft plans for the current campus. He worked for more than fifteen years as a Planning Analyst for the University of California at both the Davis and Santa Barbara campuses. He was responsible for planning and obtaining funding for many of the current buildings on the Davis campus. Ed then moved on to become Dean of Facilities Planning for the State of California’s Community Colleges. In this role, he planned and obtained legislative funding for improvements on many of the college campuses and added twenty new campuses during his tenure. In 2001, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, Ed received commendations for his service to higher education from both the Chancellor of the University of California, Davis, and the Chancellor of the Community Colleges of the State of California. Ed’s dedication to building the education system in the State of California may be in part due to his witness to terrible destruction of the general infrastructure of Europe during WWII. He came home to build – and build he did! Ed enjoyed fishing and camping with his family. He spent many hours in his woodshop building toys for his children and the children in the neighborhood. In 1981, Ed built a home in Grass Valley, CA where he lived until 2008. He then moved to San Luis Obispo County and lived in San Luis Obispo and then Arroyo Grande for the past 6 years. Eds wife, Mary, passed away in 1987. He is survived by his six children Edward Gregory, Vance Douglas (Virginia), Richard David (Phyllis), Sue Ann Lanz (Mark), Brian Lawrence and Carol Lillian Diemert (Bradley), and eight grandchildren Kelly Michelle Brainard (Bradley), Larisa Kay Glenn (William), David Edward Rodgers, Jonathan Douglas Rodgers, Amie Danielle Sarazan (Aaron), Christopher Jacob Corbin (Amanda), Heidi Suzanne Horne (Scott), and Mary Lillian Diemert. Ed is also survived by seven great-grandchildren. As testimony to Ed’s belief in education as a vital cornerstone to success in life, all of the Rodgers’ children and grandchildren have earned either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and some have completed post-graduate courses and professional degrees. A memorial service will be held at the San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks Street, San Luis Obispo, at 4 p.m. on July 26th. Funeral and graveside services will be held at East Lawn Memorial Chapel, Sierra Hills Memorial Park Cemetery, Sacramento CA, at 2 p.m. on August 2nd. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Alzheimer’s research or other charitable organization of the donor’s choosing.

Guestbook

  • Jennifer A Posehn says:

    Sue:
    I am sorry to read of your fathers passing. I hope you and your family are all doing well!

    Your friend

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