CAROLINA BEACH — William T. Rogers, Sr., age 84, best known as Ted to those in Elizabethtown, Captain Theo to those at Carolina Beach, and Papa T. to his family, passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 8, 2022.
Ted grew up in Elizabethtown and was the son of Sion Chester Rogers, Sr. and Ruby Lee Edmondson Rogers and younger brother to Sion Chester Rogers, Jr. Over the decades he owned and operated Ideal Cleaners and several other businesses in the area.
Ted was a proud member of the N.C. Army National Guard; a private pilot who flew an Aeronca Champ better known as “The Turkey Buzzard”; and a licensed sea captain of the “Sunshine” and two charter boats he owned at Carolina Beach.
Ted was an alumnus of ECU, a sax player for the ECU band, and a member of Theta Chi fraternity. He often remarked that he attended college for three terms: Eisenhower’s, Kennedy’s, and Johnson’s. Ted was a huge supporter of the East Bladen Band and was considered the “official” chauffeur for its director, Ray B. Haney. He was involved with several community events and organizations over the years, most notably as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 600, and he even appeared in a few local theater productions.
Ted rarely, if ever, met a stranger and loved being surrounded by family and friends. He loved heading out into the Atlantic and fishing, especially with “Mr. Reid” and “Moto.” But more importantly, Ted was a loving husband to the love of his life, Connie C. Rogers, whom he doted on until his final breath.
He had five lovely daughters and two handsome sons: Suzanne Rogers Dudley (Bill); Melisa Craft Bocnuk (Brian); Karla Craft Bostic (David); Paula Craft Bland; Andrea Craft Russell (Jamie); Timothy Blake Rogers (Stephanie); and William T. Rogers, Jr (Shirley). He had 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren as well. Ted was preceded in death by Chester and Ruby Lee Rogers, Joyce Hester Rogers, and Daniel Wheeler Dudley.
He was a member of Trinity UMC in Elizabethtown and St. Paul’s UMC after moving to Carolina Beach. We will miss Papa T. dearly, his happy smile, his love for family and friends, his wonderful sense of humor, and that bright twinkle in his eye whenever he got to see you.
Ted will be honored with a memorial service at Trinity UMC in Elizabethtown at 3 PM on August 27, 2022, with Rev. Lindsay Collins, Pastor of Trinity UMC, and a eulogy provided by Dr. John Britt, a longtime family friend and Honorary Rogers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Lower Cape Fear Life Care Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401, or Old Trinity UMC, PO Box 759, Elizabethtown, NC 28337.
Papa T., Hoist up that John B. Sail. We love ya and we’ll see you in that big ocean on “the other side!”