Eldon Rogers Sr.

PILOT MOUNTAIN — Eldon Sykes Rogers Sr., of Pilot Mountain, entered eternal life on Thursday, March 20, 2014. His spirit is carried on by his loving wife, Victoria Galindo Rogers; one daughter, Dr. Michelle Rogers Nichols and husband, John and only granddaughter, Hailey Nichols; one son, Eldon Stephen Rogers Jr. and fiancée, Shellee Reeves; and three brothers, Jolly Rogers, Leonard Rogers and Graham Tilley. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Edith Rogers and Nellie Benge; and two brothers, Boyce Rogers and Wayne Rogers, along with several nieces and nephews. He was born in Surry County on Aug. 1, 1940, to the late Coonie Rogers and Milner Johnson Rogers. Some of his best childhood memories were riding his Red Ryder wagon down the hills of the farms with his friends and siblings. However, when he got to high school, he excelled in academics and struggled between choosing a career in science vs. foreign languages. When a foreign language class was required for college, he found that Spanish was his true calling in life. From there, he drove his Carolina Blue 56 Chevy up the mountains to Appalachian State University (ASU) where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. His goal was to one day work at the United Nations as an interpreter or to teach Spanish. He continued that dream at ASU by obtaining his master's degree in Spanish which led him to take classes for two summers at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) in Mexico City, Mexico. In 1966, he married the love of his life, Victoria Galindo, whom he met in Mexico City. They returned back to Pilot Mountain to start their adventure of being married 47 years and to start a family. Obtaining his master's in Spanish in 1971, he started his first career as a Spanish teacher at North Surry High School (full-time) and Surry Community College (part-time) that lasted a fruitful 30 years. Eldon knew there was much work to be done, and he found his next passion in life being a migrant health technician for the Surry County Health and Nutrition Department. In 1982, both he and his wife, Victoria, pioneered much of the Migrant Health Program in Surry County. Soon, he started working full time by doing community outreach as a migrant health technician to farmworkers by interpreting for patients, listening to their needs, and giving helpful medical advice. In 1982, he received the Outstanding Service Award from the Health Services Division in Raleigh followed by the Certificate of Recognition as Migrant Technician in 2003. His breadth of knowledge was not only confined to the clinics, but he did active research in the fields and was awarded the 2003 Praxis Award for his research on Green Tobacco Sickness, a malady encountered by many migrant workers priming tobacco. His kindness and generosity was also part of his infectious personality. His gentle manner was the same with his patients as with any person he met. You could often find him working extra hours at the night clinics, United Methodist Church Migrant/Hispanic Ministries and in the Lion's Club. He never left anyone without a kind word, a gentle handshake, or a prayer in his heart for anyone in need. A memorial service will be conducted on Monday, March 24, 2014, at 3 p.m. at Cox-Needham Funeral Home with Bro. Don Collins and the Rev. Thomas Williams Jr. officiating. Harlan Wade Stone, Theresa Hughes and Dr. Michelle Nichols will share remembrances of Eldon. The family will receive friends two hours prior to the service from 1 to 2 p.m. Cox-Needham Funeral Home is respectfully serving the Rogers family. Online condolences may be made at www.coxneedhamfuneralhome.com.

Funeral Home

Cox-Needham Funeral Home
822 West Main Street Pilot Mountain, NC 27041
(336) 368-2233

Published in Mount Airy Newspapers from Mar. 22 to Mar. 23, 2014