Anna V. Rodgers
AGE: 90 • Spring Lake
Wife of Former Dunellen Mayor. Anna V. Rodgers, 90, died Saturday at her summer home in Spring Lake, NJ. She was born in Hazelton, PA on September 15, 1922, the fifth of seven children of Stephen and Anna Gulla. She grew up in Hazleton, PA, graduated from Hazleton High School, and married Bernard F. Rodgers there at St. Gabriel's Church on June 29, 1946. When he began teaching science and coaching at Bound Brook High School in 1949, they moved to Dunellen and became members of St. John's R.C. Church. Throughout the fifties she focused on raising their three sons, Bernard Jr., Gregory, and Timothy, although she also found time to sing with the Sweet Adelines in Plainfield and become active in the League of Women Voters. When her youngest began school, she began twenty years of working full-time as a secretary and executive assistant at Mack Trucks in Bridgewater (1962-1982). When her husband embarked on a political career, as a liberal "Rockefeller Republican"—which led him to serve as a Dunellen Councilman (1951-1957), a four-term Dunellen Mayor (1957-1966), the chairman of the Middlesex County Republican Party, a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1964 and 1968, and an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Congress in the heavily Democratic 15th Congressional District in 1962 and 1964—she was at his side, an active part of this life too. They lived for more than fifty years at in Dunellen. When Anna began to suffer from Alzheimer's disease more than sixteen years ago, they started to spend more time at the summer home in Spring Lake that they bought in 1981. For most of the past decade, as she became increasingly incapacitated from her disease and he became frail from the heart disease to which he succumbed in January 2009, they lived full-time in Spring Lake, where they were cared for with extraordinary kindness and love, and where they each died.
Anna Rodgers was also predeceased by her son Gregory, her daughter-in-law Jane Powell Rodgers, and five of her six siblings. She is survived by her son Bernard of Great Barrington, MA, his stepdaughters in Illinois, Adriane Powell and Lisa Bender, and their five children; her son Timothy and his wife Liz, of Bound Brook, and their children Tyler Rodgers, and Lindsy and Samantha Jacob; her daughter-in-law Stephanie Rodgers of East Sandwich, MA; her brother Francis Gulla and his wife Kay, of N. Wilmington, DE; her sisters-in-law Cecilia Molloy and Mary Ellen Rodgers of Hazleton, PA; and twenty nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 at St. John's R.C. Church, Dunellen. Entombment will be at Resurrection Burial Park, Piscataway. Friends may call on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mundy Funeral Home, 142 Dunellen Ave., Dunellen. Anyone who would like to make a contribution in her name in lieu of flowers is invited to make it to the National