A longtime Modesto Bee photographer and Channel 13 cameraman and photojournalist, died earlier in December in Southern California. He was 81. Rogers, once called a "true man of adventure" by a newspaper colleague, came to Modesto and The Bee in 1949, just after graduating from the University of Colorado.
Former Bee photographer Forrest G. Jackson Jr. remembered Rogers as a good photographer and great guy. "A great punster if you fed him a straight line," Jackson said. "He was one of the first in town to have a Volkswagen Bug, and people were always amazed to see him get his tall frame out of that car." Rogers' photography reflected his life. "He liked to share his new interests with the readers," Jackson said. 'When he took up scuba diving, we ran pictures of his trips."
Al Golub, former Bee chief photographer remembered Rogers, "Chuck was a true leader. He set the example for me to follow. After hiring me in 1966, I quickly learner from both Chuck and Forrest the principles of photojournalism. Chuck had incredible charm and used it to relate to his subjects. His images showed his magic of relationship. Chuck taught me to learn and study about everything around us. He pushed me to become more athletic, so if I like the mountains, I should hike up there and get the experience first hand. Chuck's charm and sense of humor was legendary. He will be missed but his friendly sprit lives on in all of us that learned from him."
As a photographer, he covered John and Robert Kennedy campaigning in the valley, and Ronald Reagan before he became governor. When he moved to Sacramento's Channel 13 in 1970, he would be part of the coverage of the Patty Hearst kidnapping.
Friend and fellow pilot Lynn Russell remembered Rogers' sense of daring at an air show. Russell wanted to ride the outside of an airplane on the tail instead of the wing, and Rogers agreed to help his friend by trying the new method first. "Chuck rode it first, like a horse, with a parachute on," Russell recalled. "He did a loop and came back and said I wouldn't have to hang on. The centrifugal force would keep me there. We went out, and I did three loops without a parachute."
He served as a radar operator, bombardier and navigator during World War II and Korea. He became a pilot and enjoyed sky diving after his military service. He also was a frequent contributor to the 'Our Turn' feature in The Bee.
Rogers was born July 17, 1924, in Minneapolis. He graduated from Bexley High School in Ohio.
He is survived by his wife, Jackie Hazard Rogers of Murrieta, and his children, Roanne Rogers-Lentz of Carlsbad, Robert Rogers of Eureka, Carlos Rogers of Sacramento and Ted Rogers of Roberts Ferry, and stepdaughter Cheri Alcaraz of Lancaster.
By Roger W. Hoskinsbee
If you would like to send a condolence:
Jackie Hazard Rogers
30328 Mondavi Circle
Murietta, CA 92563