Western Pa National Bank
Union National Bank
Provident Bank 5 years
5/3 (retired 2001 or 2002)
WIlliam Penn College, Football
Neville High-School(no longer exists) 1961
William Penn College '61 or '62
“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
Mom and Bill as a young boy
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.
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!”
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!!!