Fred D. Rogers, age 81 passed away on Friday, March 31, 2017 at Park View Community Campus in Woodville, WI.
He was born on August 19, 1935 in Meadville, Pennsylvania, the son of Faye and Marjorie Rogers. In the fall of 1943, his family moved to Madison, WI. At the age of eight, he began his passion for the sport of ski jumping, a sport in which he enjoyed a great deal of success, including a tryout with the US Olympic Team. Upon graduation from Madison West High School in 1953, he entered the United States Navy and was stationed at the Naval training Center in San Diego.
A year later, he received orders to report to San Francisco to be attached to the USS Tulare AKA– 112 and commissioned to Yokosuka, Japan. He started playing basketball for the Navy and the Yokosuka Seahawks. After winning the Far East Championships, the Navy sent him to Boston to play for all Navy tournament team, where he pitched a hitter no hitter and caught the eye of major-league scouts. He took an honorable discharge from the US Navy in October 1957.
Upon his return to San Diego, Fred was contacted by a scout from the Milwaukee Braves, later signing a minor league contract and was invited to spring training in 1958. After a brief minor league career, arm trouble ended any dream of playing for the Braves.
He married Marsha K. Steimke on August 22, 1959. After settling in Wisconsin, he once again returned to the sport of ski jumping, only this time as a judge and not a competitor. He worked his way up the ranks slowly and in March 1971, he would reach the top, receiving his FIS (Federation of International Skiing) world rating in Bern, Switzerland. Over the next 25 years, he would work four Olympic games, three national championships, ten World Cup events, and four world championships. But he always loved coming home and judging at the local in state ski clubs. He loved the outdoors, an avid golfer, deer hunter, and private pilot.
Fred is survived by his wife of 57 years Marsha of Woodville, WI. Their children, Ty (Dawn) Rogers of Cameron, WI; Debbie (Dan) Keefer of Woodville, WI; and Tim Rogers of Madison, WI; three grandchildren, Jake Keefer, Maria Keefer, Courtney Rogers, and Dustin Weyenberg. He is preceded in death by his parents Faye and Marjorie Rogers and sister Nancy Froker.
Funeral services were held at 11 AM on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville, pastor, Keith Anderson officiating. Visitation was held on Wednesday, one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Rose Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Madison, at a later date. Memorials preferred to Zion Lutheran Church.
Funeral services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Countryside Crematory of Baldwin.