David Edward Rodger
March 28, 1932 – September 8, 2020
David Edward Rodger, loving husband, father of five daughters and a pioneer in the computer software and business services business, passed away at the age of 88 on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Dave was born on March 28, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois to George Ralph Rodger and Dorothy Renken Rodger.
He was raised from the age of 6 in Huntington, West Virginia. He received a business degree from the University of Cincinnati, where he was a proud member of Sigma Chi fraternity. In 1957 Dave married Sue Lindler Cole and they had three daughters: Sarah, Susan and Sandra. He graduated from the University of North Carolina Business Management Institute Executive Program. He received a Certificate in Data Processing from the Data Processing Management Association, before there was a career track in computing. In 1980, he married Diane Finch Snakenburg, gaining two delightful step-daughters, Susanna and Caroline.
Dave was involved in many entrepreneurial businesses. He always said, "there are no problems, only new opportunities." Dave’s first “job” was the US Army for 21 months and 21 days. He was unloading trucks at Fort Jackson, South Carolina when a sergeant came out and asked if anyone knew how to type. Dave didn't but claimed he did and transitioned from hard labor to managing company supplies, making profits for the Army. He liked the south so after the Army, he joined IBM in Columbia, SC. After 4 years at IBM, he moved to Raleigh, NC to work as a manager with Arista Data Processing, Inc., and adopted Raleigh as his permanent home. While at Arista, he was the first to computerize golf handicaps in North Carolina in 1962 with Carolina Country Club as his first client. In 1964, frustrated that Arista wouldn't listen to his ideas, he and his neighbor Don Harley started their first business together, American Data Processing, a computer services business. In 1968 they merged with University Computing Company. In order to avoid moving out of state, and to honor a non-compete clause, Dave bought the Georgia and Florida State Automobile Associations (franchises of the National Automobile Association), tripling volume and profits, and then sold it to Travelers Motor Club in 1975. Then he re-entered the computer business as Founder and President of Distributed Data Systems (DDS). DDS sold mini-computers and computer software, developing an expertise in local government. In 1980 DDS was taken public with a reverse merger and became Fulcrum Computer Group, where he was the CEO and President. In 1985 he renamed Fulcrum to Infocel, where he was Chairman and CEO. Infocel, a $22 million software company was acquired by EDS in 1991. Dave was happy to mentor other business owners. He was part of the organizing committee of business leaders in NC which became the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) in 1984. The CED mission was to empower the successful creation and growth of entrepreneurial companies in the NC region. In 1987, he was elected Vice-President of CED.
Dave’s motto was “Work hard, play harder”. A business associate took him sailing and he was hooked. He owned sailboats, raced sailboats and loved being on the water. He was an avid golfer and played as long as his health permitted. He was generous and a cheerleader to his wife and daughters. He felt education was important and women could be successful no matter what they wanted to pursue. It was extremely rare to see him angry. He was joking with his caregivers in his last days.
Dave is survived by his wife Diane, his daughters Sarah Rodger, Susan Rodger (Thomas Narten), and Sandra Rodger (Joe Boron), his step-daughters Susanna Stevens (Stedman) and Caroline MacGabhann (Daragh), and seven grandchildren Erich and Markus Narten, Charles and Thomas Bolick, William Rogers, and Conor and Sarah MacGabhann, his mother-in-law Marie Finch Snakenburg and his brother-in-law John Stuart Snakenburg.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to: Methodist Home for Children (www.mhfc.org) 1041 Washington Street Raleigh, NC. 27605-1259
A private burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery at a later date.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh.
Memorial service of David Rodger
Saturday, September 19, 2020
David Edward Rodger
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September 12, 2020
Dave was a great guy. Knew him many years. Outstanding businessman & friend. Will miss him.
September 9, 2020
I never met him but his daughter Sandra, my friend of many years, has the creative genes and drive he exemplified. Quite a legacy in her.