Robert Rogers Sr., 88, financial firm worker

December 08, 2003|By Michael Stroh | Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF

Robert C. Rogers Sr., a retired salesman for Dun & Bradstreet and a longtime supporter of the McDonogh School, died Wednesday at Union Memorial Hospital of a cardiac arrest. He was 88 and lived in Lutherville.

Born in Waverly, he graduated from McDonogh School in 1933, a connection he would cherish for the rest of his years.

"His father died when he was 9," said his son Robert C. Rogers Jr. of Timonium. "So I think for him McDonogh was his father."

And also, briefly, his home. In 1935, Mr. Rogers married the daughter of the school's gardener, Anne Slonaker. The couple lived for several years in a house on school grounds in Owings Mills before moving to a 16-acre farm. The farm, off Painters Mill Road, was just across the street from McDonogh, at the time a military boarding school.

"He was kind of the watchdog on the [school's] northwest border," said Mr. Rogers' second wife, Mary. His first wife died in 1965.

Mr. Rogers worked for the financial firm Dun & Bradstreet from 1934 until he retired in 1975. He started out as a reporter, visiting companies all over Maryland to help Dun & Bradstreet compile its credit ratings. His favorite company visits were on the Eastern Shore, to the seafood packers and watermen.

"He enjoyed the characters that he dealt with," his son said.

Later, Mr. Rogers moved into sales at Dun & Bradstreet.

In his spare time, Mr. Rogers enjoyed working in one of his farm's six workshops. In his auto workshop, he rebuilt a Volkswagen Beetle for his daughter. In another, he built or refinished antique furniture he plucked from garbage heaps.

Mr. Rogers was an active member of the McDonogh alumni association, occasionally dressing up as Santa Claus for the school's annual Christmas parties. At other school functions, he wore his aging school beanie.

In 1987, Mr. Rogers was reluctantly enticed to move away from his alma mater by developers who were buying land to create Owings Mills Town Center.

"I think when he sold the farm he turned every penny he spent into a dollar," his son said.

A memorial service for Mr. Rogers, who donated his body to the State Anatomy Board, is planned for 11 a.m. Jan. 17 at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St.

In addition to his son and wife of 38 years, Mr. Rogers is survived by a daughter, Carol Inniss of Chapin, S.C.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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