In Memoriam: Darrell Rodgers Sr, my dad

Here it is.  20 years to the day since my father, Darrell E. Rodgers Sr., took his flight into the immortal realm.  20 years later and I still think of him every day.

He was born in 1925, the second son born to Eugene and Mabel Rodgers in a small Pennsylvania coal mining town.  The neighborhood kids would call him “Pinky” because is older brother was already called “Red”.  What else would you call Red’s little brother than “Pinky”?  He joined the Navy in 1943 and served his country during World War II.  He attended college (GWU in Washington, DC) on the GI Bill and became a Civil Engineer and a Land Surveyor. He fathered three children and stayed married to the same woman until his death did them part.

The older I get, the more I marvel at my father’s accomplishments.  No, he was neither rich nor famous, but what he managed to do for his family was special.  He built a business of his own and at one point managed to employ all three of his children, a daughter-in-law and his youngest brother.  He kept us all fed.

More importantly, he taught us Faith.  I’m not talking about blind acceptance of something unseen, I’m talking about a real “conscious knowledge” of what is right.  It’s the kind of faith that gives you the courage to act.

Pink Rodgers was a friend to many people, high and low.  He had millionaire friends (back when a million was a lot of money) and he had poor friends whom he would help with work when he could, and charity when needed.  I remember one Christmas when he and some neighbors spent that winter night not in the warmth of their homes, but traveling around the community in a truck to collect clothing and food for a family whose house had just burned to the ground.  It was family he didn’t know until that night.

He loved wit and humor.  He loved golf.  He loved his granddaughter. He liked to make silly faces at her and with her.  my dad and rachelThey would go on walks together.  It thrilled me to see them together and made me quite proud because I knew that grandchild was the most special blessing anyone could have given him, and I had done it.  His second granddaughter was only 7 months and a few days old when he died at age 63 of an aortic aneurysm. I’m glad he got to see and hold her, too.  Had he lived, he could have enjoyed two more granddaughters and a red-haired grandson, courtesy of my sister and brother.

As a Baha’i, I believe that life is spiritual in nature, and that spiritual life is eternal and separated from this world by only a veil that is “gossamer-thin”.  I believe he sees and enjoys all his grand kids today.  And in a few months, that first grandchild, my daughter, will marry a fine man and perhaps soon start a family of her own.  Great Grand Children!  Won’t he just enjoy seeing THEM!.  I guess this picture represents the two greatest blessings in my own life: Parents who prayed for me before and after my birth, and Children who will pray for me before and after my death.  Teamed now with a bride who will help me in between, life is pretty well covered.

But today, more than ever, I remember my dad.  After 20 years, I still miss him.

///Darrell
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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About Darrell

Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist
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9 Responses to In Memoriam: Darrell Rodgers Sr, my dad

  1. Rachel Rodgers says:

    Thank you for posting this. I cried. I am so grateful to have you as a father, and I am very lucky to have known my grandfather as well as I did. Thank you.

  2. Steven says:

    My prayers in answer to you post. This is almost the anniversary of another family member of mine passing who’s life shares many threads in common save that his passing was more recent.

    • Darrell says:

      Thanks Steven. Give my regards to Karla and Paul.
      For those who haven’t clicked the link, Steven is speaking of Mr. Michael Jamir, who became a Baha’i in March 1944 and served the Faith around the world until his passing at the age og 90. His family continues in service today.

  3. Laura says:

    This is so beautiful, Darrell! Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Hi Darrell,

    Your remembrance was lovely. Thanks for sharing. My parents were a bit older than yours, but they lived longer too. My Mom died in 2005 and Dad in 2007. They were married for 64 years. I miss them everyday, too. But I expected that. Dad told me that he missed his mother everyday after she passed on too.

    Allah’u’Abha!
    Stephanie

  5. Rona says:

    Beautiful! Interesting how we truly appreciate people at the end of their lives or after they are gone….God’s plan perhaps 🙂 Or maybe it’s because they are really just sitting around our living rooms with us sharing everything and smiling from ear to ear at how things work out for the wonderful families they have left behind… appreciating the wonderful lives that continue to grow after they are gone. Prayers offered up dear darrell! For you and your pop 🙂

  6. Nancy Smith says:

    I love it. Prayers for Darrell Sr and Jr, most definitely.
    To hear confirmation of the closeness of the next world from a fellow Bahai, even though it’s in the writings, it has increased power when we relate it again to one another. This is a blessing. Thank you. My son has been in the Abha kingdom for the past 16 years. Through honoring your father, you are bringing a healing balm to others as well. How beautiful your relationship must have been, and continues to be.
    God bless you. God bless your musical endeavors.

    Nancy

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