March 31, 2023 - January 22, 2016
Richard J. Rodgers passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, having lived 82 years full of life, love, and laughter. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Mary Jane (McDermond) Rodgers. Together they raised two daughters, Nancy Frey and Janie (Todd) Harper. His three grandchildren, Bridget (Devin Parry) Frey, Eric (Elizabeth) Frey and Matthew (Elena) Harper, adored him. His four great-grandchildren, Graham, Wilson, Audrey and Andrew, brought him great joy and laughter, as did his “grand-dog” Chloe. Richard worked hard to instill an appreciation for the value of compound interest in all of them (except for perhaps the dog, though private conversations may have occurred). Richard is also survived by his sister, Marian (Charles) Saffer, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, who remained a vital part of his life through his last days. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clement and Marie (Benson) Rodgers; and two brothers, John “Buddy” (Lois) Rodgers and Edward (Evelyn) Rodgers. We know they are happy to be reunited with him once again. Richard was proud of his service in the Navy, where he served on the U.S.S. Hornet as a Lieutenant J. G. and as a Staff Communications Officer. His naval service took him throughout the Pacific, and most importantly to San Diego, Calif., where he met his future wife at an officers’ dance. For 57 years, they debated about whether she had purposely left her gloves in his car so that she could see him again. Their children may never know the truth but are forever grateful for those gloves. After concluding his service, Richard brought his bride and their two young children back to Pittsburgh, where he was born and raised, having been a parishioner at Assumption Roman Catholic Church, and a graduate of Bellevue High School and Allegheny College. He accepted a position at Union National Bank of Pittsburgh, where he was an investment banker until his retirement in 1995. Richard was known by friends and family for his humor, his ability to tell a great story, and the ever-present twinkle in his eye, all characteristics of his Irish roots. He maintained all of these traits through the end of his life. He was a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, and dazzled all with his encyclopedic knowledge of sports statistics. In addition to his favorite sports teams, he was devoted to his faith, family, friends and community. A patriot and a lifelong Republican, he had ultimately decided to vote for “none of them” in the 2016 general election. Every day, he sought to make the world a bit brighter for others and to get a better understanding of rationale behind some of the Department of City Planning’s transit projects. He succeeded at the former. Among the many gifts he has given us, the greatest has been to call him husband, father, father-in-law, grandpa, great-grandpa, brother, uncle and friend. His family is especially grateful to Susan Wiltfang, hospice nurse and family friend of 40 years, who helped shepherd Richard through a peaceful passage. We are confident that they serve cold beer and ice cream in Heaven, that the Steelers win every game, and that Richard will fit right in. Friends received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at DEVLIN FUNERAL HOME INC., 806 Perry Highway, North Hills. Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Sebastian Church.
In lieu of flowers, he has requested donations to the United Service Organizations (USO) who provide for military service members on active duty throughout the world (www.uso.org/Donate)donations to the United Service Organizations (USO) who provide for military service members on active duty throughout the world (www.uso.org/Donate).
He was the best grandfather ever and will be sorely missed. I am happy I had the opportunity to be with him in his final days.
My heart aches for you during this time of loss. It is never easy to loose a loved one but I firmly believe you will see them again one day. This gives us all something to look forward to.
Jane, I am so sorry that you and your family is going through this season of loss and change. I understand better where some of your wonderful traits come from, after reading your dad’s obituary. Please know that you and your family are in my and Larry’s thoughts and prayers. May God above send comfort to those who loved your dear father.