Joseph “Joe” Aloysius Rogers, 94, of Elizabethtown, passed away Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at his home with his family around him.
He was born in Howardstown, Kentucky, the fourth child of 11, to Joseph “Leonard” and Mary “Pauline” Whelan Rogers.
Joe lived a very full life. He pursued dirt track auto racing with a degree of local fame at racetracks in Hodgenville, Frankfort and Taylor County. He was driver and mechanic, body man and pit crew, strategist and daredevil. Self-described as “a jack of all trades and a master of none,” at 15 his first employment was for the L&N Railroad in Louisville doing odd jobs. At 18, Joe joined the Army and was in the 82nd Airborne during World War II where he completed his GED; he was discharged in 1947. In his lifetime, he was a machinery mechanic at Barton Distillery, a school bus and concrete truck driver, an auto mechanic and a civil service worker at Fort Knox. He sold insurance, worked construction, spot-welded side panels on 1949 Mercury and Lincolns in a Detroit auto factory, laid water lines in New Haven, Kentucky; and welded furnace steam pipes at Eielson Air Base near Fairbanks, Alaska. Over his lifetime, he proudly and selflessly donated 30 gallons of blood, twice receiving special recognition from the American Red Cross. He was named a Kentucky Colonel in 1984 and was a member of the American Legion Post 113 of Elizabethtown.
In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by five brothers, Joseph “Paul” Rogers, William “Bill” Rogers, James Vincent Rogers, John Alphonsus “Al” Rogers and Charles Edward “Ed” Rogers; and by one sister, Elizabeth “Lib” Marie Daniels.
The mischievous twinkle in his eyes will be sorely missed by his survivors which include his loving wife of 65 years, Louise Watson Rogers; one son, Joseph “Butch” Boone; three daughters, Diana Yates (Joe), Joella Spataro (Chuck) and Tammy Bird (Kenny); four grandchildren, Jennifer Bowman (Kevin), Sara Jo Willyard (John), Lee Bird and Matt Bird; two great-grandchildren, Colton and Noelle Kimmes; four sisters, Dorothy “Jean” Ryan, Mary “Martha” Ward, Alice Josephine “Jo” Faulkner and Mary Juliana “Julie” Hardesty; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family; and long-time friends, Norman and Rita Irwin.
A funeral Mass for Mr. Rogers is at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 609 Main St. in Cecilia, with Father Benedict Brown officiating. Burial follows in Elizabethtown Memorial Gardens.
Visitation is from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday and continues at 10 a.m. Friday at Brown Funeral Home, 306 College St., Elizabethtown.
Condolences may be expressed at brownfuneral.com.
Published by The News-Enterprise from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2023.