Robert W. “Rip” Rodgers passed away peacefully on Sunday July 14th at Mercy House of the Southern Tier, Endicott. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Earl and Florence Rodgers, in-laws Jim and Helen Crane, brother Richard Rodgers and sister Marilyn Nolan, daughter Kathleen Vasisko (who he missed dearly and with whom he is now reunited) and grandson Joseph Bishop. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Shirley Rodgers, his sons and daughters James Rodgers (Karen Blackman), Patricia Fine (Scott), Robert Rodgers (Jean), son-in-law Scott Vasisko, and Lisa Blake (Chip). Also surviving are his sister Patricia Caldwell, brother-in-law John Convertino, and Patty Petrozello. He is well loved by his many grandchildren: Kristy Rodgers; Austin, Evan and Eric Bishop; Corey, Laura and Sara Vasisko; Jesse Renda, Emily, Ben, Claire and Jack Rodgers; Jay Blake, and great grandson London.
Bob graduated from Union Endicott High School and was in the first graduating class of Triple Cities College, now Binghamton University, in 1950. He earned his nickname “Rip” as the sixth man on the 1945 U-E championship basketball team. After a distinguished 33-year career at IBM, he retired to spend more time with his family and with those who could use his kind and caring ear. He worked as a peer counselor, and a volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels. He was a jazzman, loved the Four Freshman and harmonizing with his buddies, who are waiting in heaven for a little four-part.
Rip’s motto was, “Enjoy every day.”
He overcame many obstacles but never complained. Every day was a gift, and if you asked him how we was doing, it was always “wonderful.” He loved the Giants and the Yankees, a good book, two tv’s and a radio playing jazz. He was a life-long learner, and there were no boundaries on his love. In his words, from an op-ed he wrote to the Press in 1994, “I will continue to strive to be loving and tolerant and helpful to my fellow man, no matter his or her color, religion, politics or lifestyle.” In is honor, try and do the same.
Thank you to the staff of Good Shepherd of Endwell, especially Gary, Megan and Ryan. A special thanks goes out to all the staff and volunteers at Mercy House, especially Joann and Theresa, for making our time there so calm and peaceful.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 11 am at the Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main Street, Endicott. Calling hours will be 4–7 pm, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mercy House of the Southern Tier, 212 North McKinley Avenue, Endicott, New York 13760.