Archive for Thursday, February 19, 2004


February 19, 2004


Funeral services for Willard W. "Willie" Rodgers, 76, Ottawa, were Monday, Feb. 9, at Dengel & Son Mortuary, Ottawa. Mr. Rodgers died Feb. 5, 2004, at Richmond Care Center, Richmond.

He was born Dec. 9, 1927, at Ottawa, the son of Walter H. and Vinnie (DeWald) Rodgers. He graduated from Ottawa High School in 1945. He was a heavy equipment operator, working for several companies including Hercules Sunflower Ammunition Plant, DeSoto. He operated all types of heavy equipment forty-two years, retiring in January of 1989.

He served in the U.S. Marines, stationed in Virginia, in 1945 and1946.

He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, Ottawa, Local Union No. 101, Topeka, Warren Black Post No. 60, American Legion, Ottawa, Over the Road Gang, Ottawa, Veterans Motor Car Club of America, Kansas City, and Ottawa Antique Car Club.

He married Dorothy Lang, Jan. 23, 1949, at Garnett. She survives of the home.

Other survivors include three sons, Don Rodgers, Shelton, Wash., Charles "Butch" Rodgers, McLouth, and Keith Rodgers, Eudora; one daughter, Judy Van Fleet, Woodland Hills, Calif.; one sister, Gwen Whitebread, Baldwin City; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Burial was at Highland Cemetery, Ottawa. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association and sent in care of Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, KS 66067. Condolences may be e-mailed to

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