William A. “Bill” Rogers Sr., 77, passed away early Saturday morning, June 22, 2019, at his home in Connersville.
One of three children of Francis A and Anna Mae Nichols Rogers, Bill was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 1, 1942. He graduated from Ben Davis High School with the class of 1960 and attended the University of New Mexico on a basketball scholarship where he played with the New Mexico Lobos. He later attended Purdue University, studying Mechanical Engineering.
Bill was honored to be inducted into the Ben Davis Alumni Hall of Fame. Bill founded, owned, and operated Rogers Engineering and Manufacturing in Cambridge City for over 47 years.
His other local business interest include owned and operated the Western Lanes Bowling Alley and the 11th Frame Restaurant which later became Conner House Restaurant and Smorgasbord and Mr. Cinnamon Bakery. Bill along with his company Rogers Engineering also constructed the Woodridge Inn of Connersville.
Bill had many interests, including golf; enjoying memberships at both St. Andrews South Golf Club in Punta Gorda, Florida and Connersville Country Club. He was proud to have made a hole-in-one three times over his career.
Bill also was an avid boater and member of the PGI Islanders of Punta Gorda. He also was a commercial pilot, flying for both business and pleasure.
A well-known drag racer, Bill held the world record in the quarter-mile CEA class and was a runner-up champion in the NHRA finals during the 1980s. He was also the 1985 champion in the World National IHRA in the CEA class.
Bill enjoyed spending time with his family, especially when they were all together in Florida.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Lou Leach Rogers, whom he married on July 25, 1987; three children, Bill “Rog”, Jr. (Tonya) Rogers, Steve (Stephanie) Rogers, and Denise Rogers, all of Connersville; seven grandchildren, Dawn (Tyler) Rogers, Amanda (Shane) Weller, Chase (Brittany) Rogers, Kristina (Jesse) Frazier, Nicholas Ramey, A.J. (Adrienne) Isaacs, Morgan (Robert) Waelty; thirteen great-grandchildren; two siblings, May Johnson and Paul (Helga) Rogers, all of Indianapolis.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother-in-law, Roy Johnson.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at Miller, Moster, Robbins Funeral Home. Pastor Ron Russell will officiate. Burial will follow in Dale Cemetery. Friends may call from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fayette County Cancer Society, and online condolences may be made anytime at millermosterrobbins.com.
Fayette County Cancer Society
PO Box 480, Connersville IN 47331