Companies

Western Pa National Bank
Union National Bank
Provident Bank 5 years
5/3 (retired 2001 or 2002)

Teams

WIlliam Penn College, Football

Schools

Neville High-School(no longer exists) 1961
William Penn College '61 or '62

My Story

"Near the end of my Dad's life, I wanted to be able to capture information from my Dad in regards to his Check Your Game story and advice for others. Below, you'll find my interpretation of what my Dad as well as Mom, shared with me that was recorded months before his passing. I hope you enjoy and are encouraged." Gary Rogers

When my mother remarried, Augie became my step father and he didn’t want to have anything to do with me. You could maybe blame this on alcohol (he would come home drunk almost every night) or maybe it was because my Mom had me when she was 15 with another man. Either way, it didn't help him to like me when I was a kid. My stepdad had 5 children, and abandoned his entire family to marry my Mom, and so it was probably easy to abandon me too (I found out this information more recently). Whenever he was drunk, he would yell at me almost every time, and so I’d go to my grandma’s or aunt/uncle’s house. This is partly why I played so many sports such as baseball, basketball, football and baseball. Though my Dad wasn’t the nicest guy, I do remember that both my parents came to watch all my football games as a Senior in High-School, where I played tight end and defensive end.

Besides playing sports, I also played trumpet. Our school didn’t have a lot of kids (36 in my class), and so I remember playing trumpet at halftime with my football uniform on. I won awards, but none that I can remember right now. I have a basketball memory I want to share as well. I was trying out for the team this Winter in the 7th grade and got cut. Well there was this Coach, Coach Walsh, who was a good guy and supported kids he believed in. He stepped in when I got cut and had me put back on the team. He was like an athletic director and said that I had talent. I was thankful for coaches like him.

In school, I was just a C student, probably because I just didn’t study a lot, but that didn’t prevent me from getting a partial scholarship to attend William Penn in Oscaloosa, Iowa. I played DE and also a backup QB in which I had a vivid memory of! Though not a good memory, I came into the game as the QB and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and because of that, we lost the game. It was horrible. Football was going ok, but I had 3 things in my life that were weighing on me: 1) Though I had a scholarship, it was just a partial scholarship and my parents didn’t like spending money on me. 2) I was befriended by this family of Quakers who were a part of a cultic practice that I felt funny about and didn’t want to be involved, and 3) I had a relationship with this girl who wanted to get married to me. I felt like we were more friends and didn’t think it was a good fit. With all these things on my mind, I decided to leave school and come back to Pittsburgh to look for better things.

On coming home, an old High-School friend said the Bank was hiring, and so that's how I got into banking. I was a teller and always liked balancing the money and closing the books (something I still like doing today). Eventually, I ended up in Cincinnati where I retired from 5/3 where I worked in Public Funds. Mom says, “Bill always was winning trips and prizes. He won trips to places like, San Antonio, San Francisco, London, Bermuda, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Jamaica, the Carolinas and Captiva Island. He also won a pound of gold.” Whatever the goal was in banking, I always met them and came in first place. If there was some sort of achievement, I would work hard to get it. I won lots of trips and achieved much, but there was something I did when I was 7 years old where I received the greatest reward.

At age 7, before getting involved in sports, my Mom or my Aunt Jean would drop me off at Church. After watching a film on Jesus one morning, I wanted to be with Jesus and so I accepted Him and was baptized (I rededicated my life again in 1974). This decision in my life was the most important. Not only did I always feel protected in life, but I knew there was more to life than just here on earth! My Mom’s friend always said that I was lucky, but I knew it wasn’t luck! One day when I was much older, I remember being in an automobile accident and the Volkswagen I was driving flipped over and cut my main artery. As I was laying on the streets after being flung through the grass, someone came and picked me up and took me to the hospital. There, they spent 2 to 3 hours taking glass out of my arm and I was totally fine. The person who took me to the hospital then disappeared. Since then, I’ve had kidney stones, major back surgery, hip and knee replacement, a broken ankle and more recently, cancer. I can’t describe it, but I know that God has been with me in everything. Out of all the things I've done in my life and the choice I've made, accepting Jesus was the one that really changed my life forever.

CONCLUSION OF DAD'S STORY: Fast forward 2 months after recording Dad's story, our family was at Lake Norris. Before going, my Dad asked me if I could get him and Mom and drive us up to my brother Greg's cabin where the rest of my brother's, wives and grandkids would also meet. We had an early Thanksgiving that Saturday and on the next day as I listened to my Dad, after we finished watching a Church Service on television, my Dad said, “Kids, I want you to know that your Mother is like a Mother Teresa. She's been so good to you, me and to others. She prays for everyone always, has taken care of us and does whatever she can to love her family, and especially all that she’s done for me these last few years. The things she does is incredible, and I love her so much.”

My Dad married Mom and had 4 boys whose names all start with G! The Builder- G, Check Your Game- G, Math Teacher- G and Banker/Runner/Youngest- G. This was the last weekend my Dad was alive as he passed just a few days later on October 16th. God was again, protecting him, his wife and his family during this time and allowed the most perfect weekend to take place. My Dad is now in HEAVEN where his taste buds are working, he's out of a wheelchair and has the energy he once had like a young boy. Our family is thankful for that!

My Advice

I asked my Dad a question, many months before he passed on what advice would he give to his kids, grandkids and others. He wasn’t feeling well when I asked him, but he doesn’t share much anyway. This is what he said. “Live your life!”

Comments

I love you Dad. As I sit here and write my comments about your story, I think how hard it was for you to share (almost like pulling teeth), but with Mom's help, we got it done. I'm reminded though, that you were always one to do less talking and just to lead by example. You have lived your life with character and humility and I'm so proud to call you my Dad. I have so many memories of you, and many of them involve you and Mom's support throughout all my athletics. You both came to almost all my games and I am so appreciative of all that. You did your best to help me get better, spent time throwing a football, played catcher when I pitched, and even helped coach. As a husband, Father, employee and friend, you lived your life with character, integrity and humility, but more importantly, you always put God first and showed your family what that looks like, and for that, I am honored to be your son. I love you always and can't wait to see you in Heaven! Love you always, Gary or sometimes would call me Oops!!!

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Luella Rogers Burke says:

Bill and I grew up together on Neville Island. Our fathers were brothers his mom and my step mom sisters as my birth mom died at my birth. Bill re my dad,Milburn, as a dad. Bill spent a lot of time at our house…we played a lot of cards. Bill went to Arkansas w us a couple of times…my dad wanted him to see his birth dad…but that did not last. When his dad came to PA my dad would sneak Bill to our house. Our grandmother Rogers was an amazing woman. 12 sons. 1 daughter. 3 sons killed at once in Sewickley…train hit them coming home from work…2 more killed in industrial accidents on Neville Is. They like my dad came north from ARK fo work a common migration in the 30 ies. She outlived 7 of her 13 children…but…never gave up her fight. Bill and I have about 20 Rogers first cousins…from a 3 star airforce general…supt of school..farmer..etc. I am in contact / have been with only 7 or 8. I so wanted to represent the Rogers at Bill’s service but major surgery this past week prevents me from travel. I’m proud to call GGGG FAMILY. Jean too.💝💝💝💝💝

Ryan Vlasic says:

Gary this is awesome. Uncle Bill was truly a great man, and you should be proud to be his son. I will never forget how he spoke at my wedding and how sincere he was about his testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ.

MIchael Ward says:

I got know your dad through Grady’s participation on our lacrosse team at IH. He was the silent coach in the stands but always gave us congrats when we earned them and comments to improve as a team when needed them. He was a great guy and admired by many others in the community and region. He will be missed greatly and I am sorry for you loss. God has gained a champion in Heaven!

Over the two decades that I’ve known Bill, he always treated me like a family member. He never really talked about himself, he would always ask how everyone else was doing. He loved to talk about his boys and his grandkids and how proud he was of the things they were doing. Jesus and his family were the joys of his life and if you spent a minute or two with him, it would show.

Jill Rogers says:

I am so blessed to have a father-in-law who loves Jesus with his whole being & was passionate to share with his family how this great love changed his life. I’m so thankful for his commitment to praying for us daily. He is deeply missed & the family won’t feel complete without him but I’m thankful he is not miserable anymore and is with his greatest love Jesus!

Ashley Rogers says:

Grandpa was such a strong Christian man and I loved hearing him talk about the Lord. He was always so giving to us and you knew that he loved his family. I love and miss him but I know I’ll see him again one day.

Andrew Rogers says:

Grandpa, I Iove you from the bottom of my heart and I hope to see you one day in heaven where you are now. I now respect him dearly for how he has influenced my Christian walk and always encouraging me. I appreciated all the puzzles we did together and I now cherish those memories. I will miss you dearly.

Kelsey says:

Grandpa was so giving and caring. He always asked about me and my future plans and I knew how much he truly cared about them. I will miss his wise calm presence. I am so glad that his earthly pain is gone although I will miss him very much I know he is seeing the most beautiful things and I look forward to seeing him again one day.

Benjamin says:

Grandpa was so giving and always wanted everyone around him to be happy. I’m sad that he’s gone but I’m happy that after always thinking of others and after all the pain that he’s happy now and I can’t wait to see him one day.

Dick and Dian Wilkinson says:

Dick and I were always graciously welcomed by Bill Jean for Bible studies and other occasions. Bill was always eager to give an opening prayer and also to start our meetings. We admired his faith and dedication and love for the Lord. Bill had great love and support for his wife Jean and family. Bill was an early supporter of our new Church, Village Park. Dick will always remember the fun times he had with Bill at the golf course. He was a humble man, modest and never boasted. Dick always said, “I wish I could golf like him.” I remember how protective Jean was of Bill and how she wanted him not to do too much around the house, but when she would leave to do errands, he would get up and do projects he shouldn’t have done, like move furniture or bringing something down from the attic! He will be greatly missed. Love Dick and Dian

Big Dave says:

Your dad allowed us to become the best of of friends, for life…gave you/ us the freedom and trust to grow and become men. I never once heard about waking him up with a late night phone call… so me, you and Ryan could talk, trying to figure life out, or have a good laugh. I love your dad and always appreciated his humble, calm, steady way of being engaged. Will miss your presence, Bill. Thanks for being a great role model. Peace.

Ryan Paul says:

Mr. Rogers was a man of integrity and a person that I respected. He was a quiet, strong force with unmeasurable generosity. I knew Mr. Rogers because I was best friends with his son, Gary, from grade school and beyond.

While a specific story (or two) could help demonstrate Mr. Rogers’ character, I’d like to share my memories of being around Mr. Rogers. I always felt welcomed and included. Mr. Rogers treated me as a member of his family; at the dinner table (always well fed), on vacation, and playing sports in their backyard. He was a wonderful person and I am privileged to have had known for most of my life.

Blessed,
Ryan

Favorite grandson says:

Grandpa was such a loving grandparent to me. He always did things to make me happy. He taught my dad to love and be so loving to me. My favorite memory of Grandpa is that he would take me to get ice cream in the golf cart. I miss you and I hope to see you again some day.

jean rogers says:

Dear Gary, I can’t thank you enough for
taking the time with a strong conviction and determination to get Dad’s story recorded. What a gift you have given me, our family and others to read. Dad wanted to be a witness for Jesus and now you are a part of making that happen. I love you!
Mom

Grady Rogers says:

My Dad started at 5/3 Bank in 78’ as a branch manager and was later the sole person that spear headed our Fifth Third Bank’s “Public Funds” sales department. Public Funds created so much success in Ohio that other banks started to create their own public funds groups. Bankers across 5/3 refereed to my Dad as “Mr. Public Funds” and I have two funny stories to share as part of his legacy at the bank.

1 – Everyone at the Bank knew that my Dad loved to eat (like father like son lol), and one of those things was ice cream at Dairy Queen. Supposedly, he knew where every single Dairy Queen was in the state of Ohio (before Google Maps on our phones). He spent many hours on the road seeking to gain non-profit business for the Bank and after a big win, he would find the local Dairy Queen and get a banana split. Yum!

2 – During a round table meeting (at the time CEO George Schaefer and other big wigs as he called them), I guess my Dad went to the restroom, and during the hustle of getting back to the meeting, he failed to realize he had a trail of toilet paper following him! I’m sure all the “big wigs” still laugh about that moment! We always heard this story – and it was great to see that he was able to laugh at himself when I would ask him about this.

There are still a few employees left at the Bank that worked with my Dad and I would like to share a few quotes from them about Dad:

“When I was working with your Dad, we spent a lot of time on the road together in Ohio – I will never forget those trips”

“Your Father always put the customer first”

“I have so many wonderful memories of your Father. I can still hear his voice when he picked up the phone”

“He was hands down, the best employee at Fifth Third Bank”

“The number one thing he cared about was taking care of his family”

“My Father is now at the retirement center that your Dad helped create and finance – because of that project and many others he helped finance facilities all over Ohio”

I will never forgot how humble my Dad was about his time and legacy at the Bank, he practically won every single sales competition, he was loved by all, went 100% all in – in whatever he was doing, somehow made it to every single sports game of mine and was always so prepared for every life moment. My Mom is going to do great even though he is not with us; a lot in part because my Dad planned for this moment so that she will not have to financially worry. My Father taught me to have integrity, love, respect, to serve others, be determined with life’s goals and how to be a man of God. I will miss him tremendously and look forward to seeing him one day in Heaven.

Rich Stephenson says:

Thank you for sharing.

Janet Vlasic says:

Gary,
What a beautiful and insightful testimony to Bill’s life. Great job!
In addition to being the best brother-in-law I could have, and a loving husband to my sister, my most fond memories were of when grandma Weidinger moved to Cincinnati. You gained the respect of Al and me for the patience and support you always showed grandma. Since Al and I were living out of state, it was comforting to know that Bill (and Jean) were there to take good care of her. Bill never complained about anything, and he always saw that grandma was loved. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough to show our appreciation….we feel blessed that you were a part of our life.
Janet

Wendy says:

A sincere and heartfelt tribute to your father Gary. What a wonderful last weekend your family had together and how blessed you were to spend it with your Dad. I never met your Dad, but feel like I knew him through all these personal comments and stories. My condolences.

What an incredible testimony and story. Thank you so much for sharing your dads story. When I think of him I think of how proud he was of his boys, how well he loved your mom and for some reason I think about golf because there was a time when I remember him really wanting to play more. What a beautiful tribute to him this is. What a tremendous example he has set for you all and great words of advice to live your life as he contemplated what he might want to say as his neared the end. I’m proud of you , thankful for you and encourage you to keep following Christ and His leading.

Buck Niehoff says:

When Bill worked at Peck, Shaffer & Williams, he and I would travel together around Ohio to visit our clients. He was a delightful companion on the long car rides and our clients appreciate his genuine friendship. Of the many adventures, the one I enjoyed the most involved a meeting at the Ohio Governor’s Residence. I was meeting with First Lady Hope Taft and several other people in the Sun Room of the Residence while Bill waited in the Governor’s Study, which was the next room. He sat in the Governor’s big chair at his desk. The meeting lasted longer than I anticipated and during a thoughtful pause in the discussion our group was interrupted by some loud snoring. Of course, we pretended that we didn’t hear anything. Unfortunately it continued. But it did have the effect of encouraging us to wind up the meeting. I often told this story in Bill’s presence and he would always laugh but he never commented about it.