James E. Rogers Jr. originally from Hot Springs, Ark., passed away Sept. 10 at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati after a sudden illness. He was 91. Mr. Rogers married the love of his life, D. Elizabeth Akin, Sept. 11, 1948. They spent much of their married life in West Helena, Ark., where he worked for Arkansas Power and Light at Ritchie SES as an electrician, a senior electrician, and a maintenance manager. Mr. Rogers was part of the startup crew at Ritchie SES, moving from Little Rock, where he was union officer for IBEW Local 295. He retired from AP&L in 1985 after 37 years of service. Staff Sgt. Rogers was a radio operator on C47s for the 315th troop carrier group 34th squadron of the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II from June 1941 to September 1945. He spent a lot of time in North Africa and was an integral part of the D-Day operations, where his squadron towed gliders full of paratroopers over Sainte-Mère-Église, France. He was later stationed on the ground in France. Mr. Rogers could often be caught enthusiastically watching the St. Louis Cardinals or the Arkansas Razorbacks on television, where Elizabeth would scold him for getting his blood pressure up. He was a life member of Whittington Masonic Lodge #365 in Hot Springs and was a Sunday School teacher at West Helena United Methodist Church and at Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Hot Springs. He was preceded in death by his parents, James E. Rogers Sr. and Jessie Zilla Dixon Rogers, and his sister, Martha Rogers Myers. He is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth; his son, Sam; his brother-in-law, Harold Myers of Little Rock; his niece, Marti Myers Pollnow of North Carolina; and his nephew, David Myers of Colorado. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at Greenwood Cemetery in Hot Springs. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, charitable donations be made to the World War II Museum in New Orleans, PetSmart Charities, or the favorite charity of the donor. The online obituary, guestbook, and memorial tribute are available at www.grossfuneralhome.com.
Published September 17, 2014