Harry was born on November 25, 1921 in Wellesley Massachusetts to Grace and Heman Rogers. He had two sisters and two brothers. About a year after graduating from high school he enlisted in the US Navy for six years. Following boot camp at Newport, RI he was sent to Navy Trade School in Jacksonville, FL for Aviation Machinist Mate training.
Upon completion of training he was assigned to Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, TX, where he maintained the Navy’s primary and intermediate training aircraft while advancing to Petty Officer First Class. Completing a short tour at Pasco, WA he was transferred to Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu. It was there he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer. Harry managed the Assembly and Repair facility of 31 shops and over 300 personnel. While at Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, he met First Class Petty Officer – Aviation Machinist Mate Amelia Rimides.
Amy was discharged from the Navy at the conclusion of World War II and on January 21, 1946 they were married in Massachusetts while Harry was on leave. After being discharged in 1947, Harry and Amy resided in Natick, MA where Harry went from working at a gas station to being a gas station owner over the next five years. Harry, tired of shoveling snow, responded to an ad for employment with United Airlines. The couple moved to the west coast in 1952 with a daughter, Phyllis, and son, Michael, to live in Redwood City, CA. In 1953 a second son, Wayne, was born. In 1957, Harry was promoted at United to Foreman.
The family moved to San Carlos in 1960. Harry’s photographic memory and quick mind were remarkable and gained him respect in the aviation industry. Two notable achievements were in 1958 being on an emergency crew to retrieve an aircraft that crashed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, only to be repeated in 1961 in Saugus, California. Harry was also called upon to consult with other carriers in presenting United’s best maintenance practices.
In 1962 the couple purchased a farm of grapes, apples and prunes in the Dry Creek Valley of Healdsburg. The family worked the farm on weekends and vacations. Over the years the farm transitioned into a premium Zinfandel vineyard. To get closer to the farm, the family moved to San Rafael in 1965.
In 1977, well respected by his crew and management, Harry retired from United after 25 years, making Healdsburg his and Amy’s permanent residence. He continued friendships by attending monthly luncheons of United Airlines Redwood Empire Retirees and serving on numerous Board positions. Becoming deeply involved in the local community found Harry on the Board of Directors for the Dry Creek Valley Association and supporting the Healdsburg Senior Center with the Meals on Wheels program. After 40 years of farming his vineyard, Harry turned the reins over to his son Wayne.
Harry passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 8, 2009 at the age of 87, 28 months after the passing of Amy, his lifetime sweetheart of 61 years.
Harry is survived by his three children: Phyllis Moore (Rogers), Michael and Wayne Rogers. Phyllis and husband Steve parented daughters Nicole and Stephanie. Michael Rogers is married to Diane Wolfe and has a daughter, Ashley. Wayne Rogers is married to Pauline and lives in the local community with their daughter, Kelly, and son, Andrew.
Harry is also survived by five great-grandchildren. Harry left his legacy in the Zinfandel wine industry with Rogers Vineyards, which appeared on numerous bottles throughout the valley. Harry was a man of his word shown by his generosity in helping others and use of handshakes for contracts, which is something we will all miss.