Obituary of Thomas Clark Rogers, Sr.
April 23, 2018
Thomas Clark Rogers, Sr., a man devoted to God, family, and country, passed away peacefully at 93 years of age on April 16, 2018 at Wolf Creek Care Center. He was born on July 30, 1924 in Corinth, Mississippi to Clifford Otto Rogers and Jewel Nelms Rogers. He is survived by his four children, Thomas Clark Rogers, Jr., (Robin), James Andrew Rogers (Mary), Alison Janet Crawford (David), and Roderick Layne Rogers, seven grandchildren, Greg Degennaro (Natalie), Dani Rogers, Justin Rogers (Devon), Jerad Rogers, Matthew Rogers (Marie), Megan Crawford, Kristen Reed (Justin), great-grandchildren, Micaela Degennaro, Ashley Clay, Quincy Rogers, Jacob Reed, and Tristan Rogers, sisters Mary Handley (Herb), Della Boaz, and Martha Scent. His brother, Harry Rogers, died in action, while serving in WWII. As a teenager, Thomas honed his lifelong mechanical skills working on automobiles at his father's dealership. In September of 1942, he joined the Army Air Force, serving with the 736th Squadron 454 bombardment Group (Heavy), 15th Air Force, as a gunner and aircraft mechanic, until September of 1945. He served in such campaigns as "Air Combat Balkans", Southern France, Naples-Foggia, and the Rhineland, receiving numerous decorations. In August of 1945, he met the love of his life, Carol Janet Baker, while on leave in Paducah, Kentucky and at her passing in 2010, they had celebrated 65 years of marriage.
In 1946 Mr. Rogers commenced a second tour of duty with the Air Force, serving as an aircraft mechanic. He served a total of 22 years in the Air Force, retiring at the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. His second tour of duty took the family to Montana, Germany, and ultimately to California, where he served at Beale AFB. All throughout his military career, his wife Carol took up the yoke of a military wife, raising her young children often on her own, while her husband spent many years flying in support of 456 OMS (SAC), a very dangerous time for our country. Finally, Mr. Rogers spent another 20 years in civil service at Beale AFB,
working in the Transient Maintenance department, where he supported many major squadrons including the SR-71, rising to the rank of Foreman and retiring in 1985.
Mr. Rogers was very dedicated to his country and instilled this virtue in his children. All three of his sons served in the Vietnam War, with his oldest son also retiring from the Air Force Reserves. He loved re-building Corvairs and had a great appreciation of anything on four wheels. He was known around the community as the go-to person to fix just about anything. Mr. Rogers was an active member of the Elks Club and an avid supporter of the 2nd Amendment.
A private graveside service with full military honors will be conducted at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, where his remains and those of his beloved wife Carol will be committed to the earth, just across the road from their beloved homestead. In remembrance, flowers may be sent to Chapel of the Angels. 250 Race Street, Grass Valley, California or by donation to Sammie's Friends,14647 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, where Mr. Rogers acquired many of his beloved pets over the years.
The Rogers family would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to Jennifer Thibodeaux for her loyalty and devotion in caring for our father for approximately six years and who, along with her husband John, went above and beyond to be supportive to our family. We also wish to express our heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to the nurses, caregivers, and administrators at Cascades of Grass Valley, and to the nurses, caregivers, and administrators at Wolf Creek Care Center, who lovingly cared for our father in his final days.
Arrangements are under the care of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary.