WATERTOWN, NY — Kenneth Frank Rogers, 95, of Watertown passed away Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, at Carthage Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.
Ken was born on Aug. 5, 1926, in Chaumont, the son of Frank W. and Ruth Gillan Rogers. He attended Watertown schools and graduated from Watertown High School June 22, 1944. He entered the US Navy July 12, 1944, graduating from Naval Corps School in San Diego, CA. Ken served in the Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit at Oakland Naval Hospital and was released from active duty on July 22, 1946.
He completed two years of PreMed at Sampson College in CA, then transferred to Syracuse University. He became a member of Sigma Beta fraternity and president of his pledge class (later Alpha Tau Omega). He was active in SU’s intramural basketball and softball programs. After completing one year, Ken was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He spent eighteen months at Scotia Naval Supply Depot and was again released from active duty September 3, 1952. He was honorably discharged from the US Navy July 12, 1954, completing ten years of active and inactive duty as a Hospitalman Second Class.
On June 19, 1954, he married Lillis M. Sophy at the Congregational Church, Ogdensburg with Rev. Edward Sizeland officiating. She died March 7, 1989 a day after her 59th birthday.
Ken spent fifteen years in Production Control and Planning at NY Air Brake, beginning in October 1952 and served as president of the NY Air Brake Management Club in 1958.
He was appointed Supervisor of the 12th Ward on July 1, 1959, serving eight and one half years and was Chairman of the Board from 1966 to 1967. He left both the Board of Supervisors and the NY Air Brake on Dec. 31, 1967, and became Jefferson County Treasurer on Jan. 1, 1968. Ken resigned in June 1988 after almost 20 years serving Jefferson County.
Ken was office manager of the American Red Cross for six years and also transported blood from drives held in Jefferson and Lewis counties to Syracuse.
He was a life member of the North Side Improvement League and American Legion Post 61. He was a past member of the Italian American Club and Elks Lodge 496. He was also a past member and past president of the Watertown Kiwanis Club, and was Lt. Gov. of the Ontario Division and Chairman of the NYS Kiwanis Public Relations Committee. Ken served on the Flower Memorial Library Board of Trustees for 11 years and was president for two years.
Ken served on the Hospital Service Corp. and Executive Committee. He was a member of the USO, Jefferson County Planning Board, Jefferson County Committee of Alcoholism, and the Black River-St. Lawrence Regional Planning Board, where he was president for two years. He was a past member of Watertown Masonic Lodge #49, the Fellowship Team, and Media Shrine – a 32 degree Mason. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America on and off from 1939 – 2009. Ken served as president of the Jefferson-Lewis Council BSA for four years and received the Silver Beaver award in 1974. He last served on the Copenhagen Troop 60 committee during which time four of his grandsons became Eagle Scouts.
Ken received an Honorary First Citizen award in December 1963 in Watertown. He was chairman in September 1969 for the Centennial Celebration. He served as chairman of the Watertown City Republican Party for fourteen years, and served on the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority and the original Fort Drum Steering Committee. Ken was on the original committee for the formation of Jefferson Community College and was appointed to the North Country Regional Economic Council on May 31, 1984.
Ken enjoyed camping, gardening, and solving crossword puzzles. He was an avid fan of the NY Yankees, NY Giants, and all Syracuse University sports which he attended regularly.
Ken is survived by his three children, Mark S. Rogers, Watertown, Barbara J. Rogers, Watertown, and Joanie M. Aubin and husband Daniel, Black River; five grandsons, Daniel K., Matthew F., and Adam D. Aubin and Jordan L. and Tyler S. Soluri; a brother Charles P. Rogers, Palm Springs, CA; and several nieces and nephews in CA, TX, NY, and FL.
Along with his wife, Lillis, he was predeceased by a daughter, Allison R. Rogers, on Sept. 10, 2021, and three brothers, John F., Thomas P., and James G. Rogers.
A graveside service with military honors will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Brookside Cemetery with Rev. Bruce Chapman presiding.
Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown
Online condolences to may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.
Donations in his name may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1 Penny Lane, Latham, NY 12110.