Richard Rogers Jr.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Richard O. Rogers Jr.
FRANKLIN—Dr. Richard Ovid Rogers Jr., 82, died Nov. 18, 2008, at home following a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Dr. Rogers died with his wife of 50 years, Erna, at his side.
Son of the late Dr. Richard O. Rogers Sr. and Nancy Martin Rogers, he was born March 19, 1926 in Bluefield, W.Va.
He attended Saint Christopher’s School in Richmond from 1938 through December 1943, then began his undergraduate studies at Duke University for three semesters before volunteering for the Army Air Force in May 1944.
He served in Salzburg Austria from December 1945 until being honorably discharged in June 1946.
He resumed his undergraduate education in September 1946, attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg and graduating in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, with honors.
There he was a member of both the Tau Beta Pi and Pi Lambda Upsilon honor societies.
The day following graduation he entered the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, completing his studies in June 1952.
He spent one year at Philadelphia General Hospital, finishing a rotating internship.
In the fall of 1953, Dr. Rogers returned to the Medical College of Virginia as a resident in Internal Medicine. He briefly practiced in Alta Vista from July 1954 to September 1955.
He began his fellowship in cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) in late 1955 and completed his studies at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. in fall of 1957.
Later that year Dr. Rogers returned to Bluefield to practice Internal Medicine in partnership with Drs. Fox, St. Clair, Rogers, et al at the Bluefield Sanitarium Clinic, Inc. and remained there until 1979.
During his years in Bluefield, he was President of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of West Virginia (1965-1975) and Vice-President of Bluefield Sanitarium Clinic, Inc.
His interest in business led him to serve on numerous local bank boards as well.
He was a life-long Episcopalian and served repeatedly on the vestry at Christ Church in Bluefield.
In 1979 Dr. Rogers joined Union Camp Corp. in Franklin as Medical Director and served in this capacity until 1986.
Until his retirement in 1996, he also practiced at the Wright Clinic in Jarvisburg, N.C. and the Portsmouth Naval Hospital.
He was a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Franklin and the American Legion; in 2008 he was named “Man of the Year” by the local chapter.
Beyond his lifelong interest in many areas of medicine, he was passionate about aviation and an avid instrument-rated pilot for more than 40 years.
He loved piloting his Cessna 182 (N3195U) and took his family and friends on many cross country adventures.
In addition, he enjoyed sharing a game of golf with his friends, and in partnership his wife, was an accomplished Duplicate Bridge player.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Erna Ingram Rogers; one daughter, Pamela Higgins Stone and husband Pierce of Louisa; three sons, William A. Higgins Jr., and wife Sheri of Charlotte, N.C., Richard O. Rogers III and wife Karen of Winston-Salem and Michael Rogers and wife Theresa of Pinehurst, N.C.; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Dr. Rogers was predeceased by a sister, Ann R. Carlson.
The funeral will be conducted Thursday at 3 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church with the Rev. Edmund Pickup officiating.
Interment will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 at Woodlawn Memorial Park, Bluefield.
Memorials may be made to Wake Forest School of Medicine for the Medical Alumni Association Fund, C/O Office of Development, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, N.C. 27157-1021, Saint Christopher’s School, c/o Delores Smith, Director of Development, 711 St. Christopher’s Road, Richmond, VA 23226 , The American Cancer Society, and Southampton Memorial Hospice, 100 Fairview Drive, Franklin, VA 23851.
Wright Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be offered at