MATTOON, IL – Richard Ernest “Dick” Rogers, 95, of Charleston, Illinois passed away peacefully Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at the Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home in Mattoon, Illinois. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, March 24, 2022 at Adams Funeral Chapel. Visitation will be from 1:30 PM until service time. Burial will be at a later date.
Dick was born October 14, 1926, in Reading, Massachusetts, the son of Harold and Hattie (Newcomb) Rogers. He married Phyllis Pletcher on December 25, 1956, and she preceded him in death on June 16, 2008. Richard is survived by his three children, Charles “Chuck” (Betsy) Rogers of Bellevue, NE, Ethan (Natalie) Rogers of Alexandria, VA, and Lucinda “Cindy” (Tony) Williams of Shelbyville, TN; five grandchildren, Alexander “Alex” (Haley) Rogers of Bellevue, NE, Jordan “Jordy” Rogers of Bellevue, NE, Justine (Ronnie Yar) Gustafson of Oak Lawn, IL, Micheal (April) Williams of Shelbyville, TN, and Julie Williams of Shelbyville, TN; thirteen great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild and another due any day. He is also survived by dear friends, Duke and Linda Bagger, Connie Buchenroth, Lillian Greathouse, and Roger Whitlow. Besides his wife and parents, Dick was preceded in death by one granddaughter, Erika Williams; two brothers, Harold Rogers, and Charles “Charlie” Rogers; and two sisters, Marilyn Simpson and Jean Read.
After his high school graduation from Reading High School in Reading, MA, Dick served his country in the Army Air Corps as a cryptographic technician sergeant with the 145th Air Communications Service Squadron, located in Hawaii. He attained his BA from Carleton College in Northfield, MN in June of 1950, a MA in theater from UCLA in 1953, a MA in English from San Diego State College, in 1961; and his doctorate in English from Indiana University in 1969. Dick taught at Temple University, the Wilkes-Barre Center at University of Pennsylvania, San Diego State College, and retired from Eastern Illinois University’s English department in 1993 after 24 years of teaching at EIU.
Academic achievements were not Dick’s only accomplishments. While in California, he served as Cubmaster for the Cub Scouts Pack #354 in Casa de Oro. He was a member of Charleston’s Elks Lodge #623, even serving as past president. He was appointed District Deputy (East Central Illinois district) to the National President of BPO Elks USA, and was a Charleston VFW member, and a member of the local American Legion post in Mattoon. In Charleston he attended the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Eastern Illinois and also served as a past chairman.
Dick enjoyed all things theater: acting, directing, set design, and setup. In fact, he met his wife Phyllis at the Hedgerow Theater in Rose Valley, PA. In Charleston he was active in both the Charleston Community Theater and the Charleston Alley Theater.
Please visit www.adamsfuneralchapel.com to leave condolences for his family.