Dr. John James William Rogers of Durham passed away on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Dr. Rogers was a Kenan Professor Emeritus of Geology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a husband, the father of two sons and an avid supporter of the pursuit of knowledge in all forms.
Dr. Rogers was born in Chicago on June 27, 1930, and grew up in Los Angeles. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the California Institute of Technology, where he also played on the basketball team, and his master’s at the University of Minnesota. He returned to Southern California to earn his doctorate from Cal Tech before accepting a position at Rice University in Houston, Texas, in the mid-1950s. While at Rice he served as the chairman of the Geology Department and was the master of Brown College for five years. He remained at Rice until 1975 when he accepted the Keenan Chair at UNC and moved his family to Chapel Hill.
He is preceded in death by his father James Edward Rogers and his mother Josephine Dickey Rogers. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara Rogers, his son Peter and his wife Ellen of Hamilton, New York, and his son Timothy and his wife Debra of Wilson, North Carolina. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Zachary, Grace and Abbey, all of Wilson.
Dr. Rogers had a lifelong passion for better understanding the earth, its environment and the forces that created and shaped it. During his long career he wrote numerous books and papers on a variety of geological topics and taught thousands of undergraduate and graduate students. He had a gift for imparting his knowledge to anyone who wanted to learn and was instrumental in launching and supporting the careers of numerous geologists around the world.
A memorial service for him will be held at Croasdaile Village in Durham at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 31. The arrangements are being handled by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas. In lieu of flowers, a gift in his honor can be made to The John & Barbara Rogers Fund for Excellence in Geochemistry in Geological Sciences. Those wishing to make a donation can make it payable to "Arts & Sciences Foundation, Inc." with "John and Barbara Rogers Fund - 105519" in the memo line and mail it to The Arts and Sciences Foundation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 134 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.