OBITUARY: Harold Cecil Rogers Sr.

by Oct 17, 2022OBITUARIES0 comments

Harold Cecil Rogers Sr., 87, of St. Mary’s, Ga., passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, at Hospice of the Golden Isles in Brunswick, Ga.

Born on June 20, 1935, in Cherokee, N.C., to the late Oscar Rogers and Edna Warren Rogers.  He moved with his sister, Ruth, and her husband, Jasper Garrett, to Fernandina Beach, Fla., when he was 12 years old and graduated from Fernandina Beach High School in 1952.  While attending the College of William and Mary, he worked for the Norfolk & Western Railroad, Ford Motor Company, and Norfolk News.  After college, he married Alicia Russell in November 1957.

For several years, Harold worked in the family car dealership, Russell Chevrolet-Buick, in Kingsland, Georgia, where he resided with his wife and their son, Harold C. Rogers, Jr.  He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church of St. Mary’s.

Encouraged by his father-in-law, C. G. Russell (himself an avid pilot), Harold pursued his dream of becoming a commercial pilot.  He also served in the Florida Air National Guard.  In addition to his flying career, Harold was an air-traffic controller for the F.A.A. and retired from there, as well.  Harold also was a licensed flight instructor and flight examiner and helped many aspiring pilots earn their wings.

Harold also served on the Kingsland City Council, was a Sunday-School teacher, loved to fish, and was an avid motorsports enthusiast and participant, racing stock cars, hydroplanes, and dune buggies.  He also loved sports and played football, basketball, tennis, and golf.  He was also a generous and caring man, supportive of those around him, and always encouraging to others.  He was the type of person who inspired those around him to pursue their dreams.

Employed in the flight department of Gate Petroleum up until his passing, some of Harold’s fondest memories were of the famous people he was able to fly:  Dignitaries such as Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, General Norman Schwarzkopf, and also Muhammad Ali.  Harold, himself a successful amateur boxer, greatly enjoyed discussing boxing and life with Ali.

Harold leaves behind his spouse of 64 years, Alicia Russell Rogers; son, Harold Jr.; daughter-in-law, Kim Nelson Rogers; grandsons, Harold “Chip” C. Rogers III and Curt Nelson Rogers, all of St. Mary’s.  Harold was the youngest of eight brothers and sisters, Charles, Lois, Ruth, Alice, Shirley, Elsie, and Clarence, all of whom resided in and around Cherokee.  He was predeceased by his parents and siblings.  Harold had many nieces and nephews, including the late Barbara Garrett Owle, her son Joey and his wife Cheryl Owle’s daughters, Heather and Joi, also of Cherokee.  Harold was a proud member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and will be missed by all who knew him.

A Memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Burgess Chapel of at Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors in Fernandina.  The family will receive friends beginning at 2 p.m.  Internment will be at Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Mary’s at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Hospice of the Golden Isles.