Riley Henry Rogers was a devoted and loving husband, father, brother and friend, Riley Henry Rogers lll died peacefully the morning of February 12, 2019 in his Fargo home at Sheyenne Crossing. He was 93.
Riley, son of Dr. Riley H Rogers ll and Alice Mae (Wilson) was born in Chicago IL. December 28, 1925. He was the couple’s only son but grew up with two older half-brothers Bill and Dan. As a young boy Riley enjoyed the benefits of both city life and the wonderful experiences of summer vacations with his Grandfather, Riley Rogers Sr, at the family farm in Lawrence KS. Riley loved the water and won numerous medals in Chicago Boys Club swimming and diving competitions. Later he became an open water lifeguard on Lake Michigan for the Chicago Park District. Riley also played semi pro football in Chicago and would enjoy earning some pocket change playing pool in his spare time.
Riley joined the navy and served during WWll as an aircraft mechanic on the USS Saratoga. Upon his return, and with the advice of a family friend, Riley headed to North Dakota and Jamestown College. It is there that he met and married the love of his life, Olive Ann (Stretch) Wanner. He successfully completed majors in Biology and Chemistry at Jamestown College where he was also a valuable asset on both the track and football teams.
While in Jamestown the couple added two children and a border collie to their growing family, Riley H Rogers lV, Vicki Lynn and Tinker. Educational pursuits lead the family to Grand forks and then to Fargo where their third child, Roxanne, was born. In 1958 Riley was commissioned to install the first pharmacy at Mercy Hospital in Valley City. The original plan was to stay only one year but Riley and Stretch would live happily in Valley City for more than 50 years.
Riley was a civic minded man and through the years he became an active member both in the community and the state. He had memberships in the Elks, Eagles and Masons, was a past president of Rotary, served on the State University Advisory Board, had a place on the Valley City Multi-District Vocational Center Health Occupations Committee, held every office and served at some capacity on every committee of the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy, he also served on The Red River Basin Board, was a past president of the League of Cities and served on the Board of Trustees of the Congregational United Church of Christ. Riley served as mayor of Valley City for 12 years and also acted as the Pharmacy Compliance Officer for the State of North Dakota for several years. He was proud to be part of the important work of the city and the state and was humbled by the integrity of the many people with whom he worked side by side. He is quoted saying, “Valley City is the finest in the country, and I’ve worked with some of the finest people. That’s been the story of my life. Who could ask for more than that?”
Riley and Stretch enjoyed each other’s company tremendously and in their leisure time they would go flying, boating, traveling, taking photographs and listening to a variety of music. Riley Rogers will be remembered for his warmth, kindness and welcoming disposition as well as his easy smile and carefully timed jokes. We are finding it hard to imagine life without him but we find comfort imagining him reunited with Olive Ann, the love of his life.
Riley is preceded in death by his wife, parents and brothers.
Riley is survived by: son Riley H Rogers lV, daughters Vicki Lynn (Gary) Sizemore and Roxanne (Harve) Rogers. Grand children: Tracy (Sean) Ochester, Aaron Sizemore, Kelly Sizemore, Riley H (Mary) Rogers V and Olivia (John) Rogers. Great Grandchildren: Kelly and Amelia.
A celebration of the life of Riley H. Rogers III will be held Friday 3:00pm, March 22nd, 2019
Congregational United Church of Christ in Valley City, ND 217 4th st NW