Donald Augustine Rogers
April 22, 1928 – October 24, 2018
We have lost a great man, a patriot, and a true southern gentleman. Donald Augustine Rogers was born to Addie Methvin Rogers and Crit Henton Rogers in Natchitoches, Louisiana on April 22, 1928.
He had a wonderful childhood filled with plenty of pets and playmates, chinaberry fights, marbles, fishing and picnics. He learned the value of hard work early-on, as he began work at age 12 to help support his family. He was a cowboy, a cotton-picker, a clerk in a grocery store, and had a newspaper route. He even sold newspapers and candy bars to General Patton’s troops who were on maneuvers close to his home. At age 16 he found work as a roughneck on a drilling rig in Odessa, Texas.
Don was an athlete and secured football and basketball scholarships to Northwestern State University. After two years at Northwestern, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 18 and was assigned to Washington D.C. as an instructor. After his enlistment was up, he returned to Louisiana and finished college at L.S.U. graduating with a degree in petroleum geology. Don went to work for Humble Oil and Refining Company (Exxon) drilling oil wells. He was the first geologist to work on the first floating drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
After being transferred to Los Angeles, he met the beautiful Marilyn Lorraine Miller. They were married six weeks later on September 2, 1955. Marilyn and Don were blessed with three children: Mallorie, Grayson and Douglas.
With three more transfers, they established their home in Bakersfield, California. There Don was persuaded to run for a city council seat after being unhappy about a newly imposed utility tax fee. He won the election, and his first item of business was to abolish the new fee. That began his career in politics. In 1978 he was elected as assemblyman in the California Legislature. He was able to successfully abolish the California State Inheritance and Gift taxes, thereby saving California families billions of dollars. He served as an assemblyman until 1986, and then was elected as a California State Senator. He retired from the Senate in 1996. It is said of him that he was a true gentleman, treated everyone with respect, and was a light in the sometimes dark political arena of the capitol. He wants people to know he never voted for a tax increase. He often said the best way to keep government under control on all levels, city, county, state and federal, is to reduce their income at every opportunity.
Don loved to fly. He flew his own Mooney airplane back and forth from Bakersfield to Sacramento for many years, accumulating over 6,000 hours of flying time. He was privileged to be invited by the Air Force to fly an F-4, an F-100 and an F-16, which were thrilling experiences for him. He flew his Mooney until 2002 when on his way back to Placerville from Bridgeport, his fuel pump failed and he had a forced landing. He received numerous serious injuries, but thankfully recovered with few lasting effects.
Don retired to the beautiful community of Placerville, California. He enjoyed living in his peaceful home there, with Marilyn, in his very own enchanted forest.
Don was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had a strong testimony of the truths taught in his church. He loved his Father-in-Heaven and Jesus Christ, and has felt their protection and guidance many times in his life.
Don’s family would like to thank the many kind people at the Gold Country Assisted Living facility that helped him during the final three years of his life. They not only cared for him, they served him and loved him and became his dear friends. Thank you to one and all. He loved you so very much.
Don was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn, parents, and his two brothers: Crit Henton Rogers, II, and Ray Rogers. He is survived by his sister Betty Williams of Pineville, Louisiana, and his three children: Mallorie, Grayson and Douglas; 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A graveside service with military honors will be held on Monday, November 5, 2018, 11:00 a.m. at Westwood Hills Memorial Park, 2720 Cold Springs Road, Placerville, California.
Monday, November 5, 2018
Donald Augustine Rogers
November 5, 2018
To Mallorie, Grayson and Doug and the extended family;
My sincerest condolences to all of you. Your dad was a class act and very supportive of the LDS Church, his wife and family, and all your extracurricular activities growing up. I will never forget his being my first home teaching companion in Bakersfield and his friendly demeanor with people.
I was amazed at his lengthy political service as he found a passion for community service and making a difference in the political arena.
I was also amazed how he recovered from the Plane Wreck due in part to prayers in his behalf.
Let us console ourselves by realizing his physical pain will be relieved by reaching into immortality and going beyond the veil. We will all miss his presence and good natured demeanor.
Love to all,
November 4, 2018
Mallory, Grayson and Doug,
Please accept my sincerest condolences on learning of the passing of your father. He was a true “Statesman” and I absolutely loved him and working for him while in the Assembly and Senate in the District Office.
Early on, I will never forget when someone said something horrible about him and I became so upset, he told me, “Linda, don’t worry, it’s like water on a ducks back, let it roll off, because tomorrow it will be something new and different”, I remember that statement to this day. As well as, so many other great campaign/election memories with your dad during my time with him.
I hold so many fond memories and I am truly sorry that I cannot be with you all tomorrow, he truly was a fantastic boss, policy maker (Statesman) and most of all, a Southern gentleman.
Rest In Peace Don. My prayers go out to all of you for strength during this most difficult time. He truly loved you all very much.
Linda Parker, Bakersfield, CA