Roger Robidas

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  • "To Troy, Betty, Arista & family, so sorry to hear about the..."
    - Gail Pare
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DOVER — Roger Robidas of Dover died on March 7, 2012, at his home after a long period of failing health.

He was born in Montpelier, Vermont, on Feb. 4, 1941, the son of the late George and Juliette (Lefebvre) Robidas. He grew up in Rochester and Dover where he attended local parochial schools. His musical genius emerged at an early age and he was soon playing guitar and singing on stage in his early teens and was known in the '50s as "NH's own Johnny Cash."

He made his TV debut in 1960 with the Johnny Houston band and his musical career soon led him to Nashville, Tenn., where he appeared on the original Grand Ole Opry with the stage name of Jonny Rogers. He joined the band of Jeannie C. Riley, became her bass guitarist and road manager, toured many countries throughout the world and appeared on many national TV shows including the Ed Sullivan Show, doing what he loved best, playing music.

One of his greatest highlights was playing guitar with the late, great Chet Atkins, whose inimitable style of guitar playing Roger had mastered as a teenager along with that of Les Paul and Andres Segovia. From country to jazz, from old standards to rock 'n' roll, from classical to bass guitar, his talent knew no bounds.

He eventually retired to his hometown of Dover, where he worked at Heidelberg Harris and continued to play music with area musicians including, The Jimmy Woods Band and was a guitar instructor to hundreds of students. He always enjoyed revisiting his childhood family homestead in Rochester, where he enjoyed the natural beauty of the fields and the forest and the many happy memories he had there.

He is survived by his sons, whom he loved dearly and was very proud of, Jon Robidas and his fiance Ellen of Milton, and Troy Robidas and his wife Betty of Farmington; his only granddaughter, Arista; his special brothers, Marcel and wife Louise of Maine, George and wife Jean, Armand (Joe) and wife Shirley; his two beloved sisters, Anita Clements and Doris Grant and husband Ralph, all of Dover; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother, Lucien, and sister-in-law, Jackie.

He loved his family, his friends, his pets and his music and all of them blissfully filled his life.

Private family services only.

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Published in Fosters from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2012