K. Darrell Rogers

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2003

(Kenton) Darrell Rogers, 58, died Friday, May 23, 2003, at his home in Seward following his battle with lung cancer. He was 58.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 30, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Seward.

Mr. Rogers was born Jan. 15, 1945, in Medford, Ore., to Dora and Art Rogers. He graduated from Eagle Point High School in Eagle Point, Ore. He came to Alaska and settled in Seward in 1978. He was a member of Seward Elks Lodge No. 1773 and Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

He worked as a musician, playing guitar professionally from the age of 18 in Oregon, California, Colorado and Nevada through his tenure in Alaska. His music is what brought him to Alaska in 1977 when he was hired to play in Soldotna "for six weeks." He fell in love with Alaska immediately and couldn't leave. He moved to Seward in January 1978 and played music at Solly's Lounge, the Pioneer Bar and Tony's Bar. That summer he went to work for Seward Trading Co. as its "live butcher" and worked there for 10 years. In 1988, Darrell went into business in the Pioneer Bar and Frontier Restaurant until 1989. From 1989 to 1998, he and his wife, Kim, owned and operated Dreamland Bowl. Since retirement, he worked summers for Parks and Recreation, played music with "Glacier Country" and spent precious time with his family.

"Darrell was a kind-hearted man with high values and ethics. Highest on his priority list was family. He was a loving father to his children, each of them loving him for his strength, heart and honesty. He was a devoted husband and best friend to his wife. His grandchildren all loved 'Papa' without reserve. He will be missed," his family said.

He was known for his generosity, loving nature and sense of humor.

"He was the king of the one-liners!" said his son-in-law Greg Mercer. He shared his music talents with those who needed him. He played guitar for numerous weddings, funerals, fund-raisers and just about any occasion he was asked. One of his fondest memories was being asked to play for Jack and Nancy Sadusky's 50th anniversary party, "because he played for their 40th." He and his wife, Kim, were part of the local band, Glacier Country, with whom he played music and sang from 1994 up to the day he lost his voice in 2002. He has written and recorded several songs.

Mr. Rogers was preceded in death by his parents and older brother.

He is survived by his wife, Kim Kowalski-Rogers of Seward; their children and spouses, Jeremy and Wendy Rogers of Seward, Marti Garrett of Seward, Toni and Greg Mercer of Anchorage and Brady Garrett of Everett, Wash.; grandchildren, Zachary, Allison and Steven; sisters and brothers-in-law, Kay and Lee Hayes and Bobbie and Dale LeBlanc of Medford, Ore.; and many nieces and nephews in Alaska and Oregon.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial contributions be made in Mr. Rogers' name to the Polar Bear Jump-off Festival-American Cancer Society at P.O. Box 386, Seward, AK 99664.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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