On Sunday morning the brilliant sun rose in the east just as the light faded for a man who touched the lives of so many in such a positive way. Mike Rogers was determined to celebrate his 91st birthday and many more but it was not to be. Surrounded by his loving wife of 70 years (yes, they had an amazing connection) along with his children and many grandchildren, his pain eased, and he peacefully drifted off to a better place. The world lost a great man at that moment.
Born in a small town in central Alberta and into a large family, he was slinging away in the coal mine by the time he was in his mid teens. He of course was also playing baseball, a game he loved all his life. His talent on the field was only outdone by his swager off it, something that was demonstrated when he swept his soon to be love of his life off her feet with a quick “hello blue eyes” while striding to the plate for his next at bat. It came during a fierce battle between East Coulee and Bassano, two Alberta rivals going toe-to-toe for the Canada Day title. No one recalls who won that game primarily because Marg, soon to be Rogers, continues to say that on that hot summer day she was the biggest winner of all. A lifelong connection was instantly made and continued long after they eventually married and moved to Victoria to work and raise their family. In fact, their loving relationship continued to bloom for decades right up until she gave him a gentle kiss goodbye as he moved on to be with his brothers, parents, and so many other relatives and lifelong friends.
Armed with a big smile that could charm most and a quick wit that would always keep you on your toes, Mike Rogers spent many years coaching baseball both at Lake Hill Little League and then with Victoria Senior Babe Ruth. He led several teams to provincial titles, though he is remembered more for the mentoring he provided to young athletes rather than the titles he won. He did haul in plenty of hardware over the years and not just on the ball diamond. In fact, after watching his wife register her first hole in one on the links at Arbutus Ridge, he followed it up by notching two of his own. Thank goodness for that as it kept his athletic prowess secure.
Mike knew the value of hard work and was not shy about telling you so. He felt the job wasn’t done until there was dirt on his hands and a good sweat across his brow. He also had the attitude and energy of an entrepreneur, playing a key role in the formation of the partnership that saw the rise of Rogers Mechanical Contracting in Victoria from the early 70’s through the mid 90’s. Along the way he gained the respect from all those he met living up to the reputation of being a stand-up guy whose handshake truly was a rock-solid bond. This rare quality of being able to get along with anybody was evident in the fact that he was a lifetime member of both the Victoria Construction Association and the Plumbers & Pipefitters Union.
Mike was predeceased by his parents (Annie and Sam), and stepfather Nicky Starchuk; brothers John (Dorothy), Bill (Miriam), Steve (Olive), Nick; half-brother Peter, and half-sister Emily; stepsister Mary, and stepbrother Bill. He also outlived his son Nick and granddaughter Shannon as well as many other family members and numerous lifelong friends.
He is survived by his loving wife Marg, daughters Cheryl (Mike), Lynda (Dave), Donna; and sons Danny (Linda), and Michael. He is also survived by a long line of adoring grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family spread across B.C., Alberta, and Michigan.
A future celebration of life is in the works post the pandemic.
In lieu of flowers donations would be gratefully accepted in Mike’s name at Sunny Hill Health Centre at BC Children’s Hospital, 4500 Oak St. Vancouver BC V6H 3N1 or to Lakehill Baseball and Softball Association, PO Box 30011, RPO Reynolds, Victoria, BC V8X 5E1
In our thoughts and in our hearts through eternity.
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