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Rogers, Willis H. - Redlands  
Lifelong Redlands resident Willis H. "Bill" Rogers' story ended with his peaceful passing at Redlands Community Hospital on Dec. 14, 2014, after a 3-month illness following surgery. He was born at that same hospital October 24, 1939 to the late Willis E. and Elsa D. Rogers. Bill's greatest passions in life were his family, and teaching. He is survived by his wife of 50 years Nancy, son Todd W. Rogers, daughter Tricia E. Rogers, grandkids Christian & Savannah, his brother Mark, and 2 nephews Scott & Bill. Bill attended McKinley Elementary, Redlands Junior High, Redlands High, and the University of Redlands. He set several track records in high and low hurdles at RHS. He began playing percussion in the University of Redlands Community Symphony Orchestra while in junior high and high school. He continued his love of music as a voice major at the U of R where he sang in operas, concert choir, and gave a senior recital. He was an avid supporter of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra. He and Nancy both were retired educators who until this fall continued working with the University of Redlands supervising student teachers. Bill taught Spanish and French from 1962-1998 at Bloomington HS and coached track and x-country for most of those 36 years. He also taught at San Bernardino Valley College evening division for 13 years. He did post graduate work at Universite de Laval, Quebec, Canada; University of Arizona at Tucson - Guadalajara, Mexico, Summer Graduate School program; and Claremont Graduate School. He was a Past Master of Redlands Masonic Lodge No. 300, served as an Inspector for five lodges, and served on the state level in Grand Lodge as Assistant Grand Lecturer for 5 years. He was also a member of Scottish Rite Valley of San Bernardino, York Rite, and Red Cross of Constantine. He was an officer in all of these organizations as well as the Inspector for a French and a Spanish-speaking lodge in the Los Angeles area. In his retirement years, he has served on the Board of Redlands Day Nursery where he was president for 3 years, member of the Board of Trustees for Kimberly-Shirk Association, the University of Redlands Alumni Association Board of Directors, and also tutored for the Adult Literacy Program at Smiley Library. He was an avid outdoorsman interested in racing pigeons, fishing, sailing, scuba diving, bird watching, and a gifted gardener. He loved sharing the many varieties of fruit from his orchard. His kindness, generosity, and sense of humor touched the lives of everyone with whom he came in contact. His was a life well lived. A memorial service will be held in January. Donations may be sent to: Redlands Day Nursery - Bill Rogers' Memorial Fund 1643 Plum Ln Redlands, CA 92374; Smiley Library - Friends of the Library Adult Literacy Program - Bill Rogers' Memorial Fund 125 Vine St Redlands, CA 92373; or the charity of your choice.
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Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Dec. 21, 2014
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