Eugene “Gene” E. Rodgers
April 20, 1936 – January 21, 2020
Eugene “Gene” E. Rodgers died on January 21st, 2020 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Gene, the only child of Alma Rodgers (nee Gruenloh) and Raymond Rodgers, grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Roselawn where he had numerous friends, pets – such as his pig “Porky” and his bunny rabbit (both of which were house-trained by his mother) – hobbies and adventures. He and his mother were very close as his father spent a great deal of time away from home. The two of them would take the bus all over town to visit friends and relatives, allowing him to develop a sense of independence and responsibility.
As Gene grew older, it became clear that he was very bright, eventually enrolling in Walnut Hills High School where he met his future wife, Carol Ann Huemmer (12/31/1936-05/13/2006). After high school, Gene joined the U.S. Navy where he served as a crewmember on P2V Neptune patrol aircraft. His specialty was operating onboard electronic equipment, crucial to the crews’ mission of foreign submarine detection, a duty affectionately referred to as the “Madman.” Gene considered his years in the Navy as critical to his development as a man and as a human being.
While still in the Navy, Gene and Carol married (June 29, 1957) in Cincinnati but resided in Jacksonville, FL where Gene was stationed, until 1958 when he was honorably discharged from active duty. The couple moved back to Cincinnati where he worked briefly for General Electric. He then went to work for his father at Midwest Tobacco. During this time, Gene and Carol started their family with Melissa Marie Rodgers born in June, 1966 followed 6 years later by the adoption of 2- month-old Jason Alexander Rodgers.
In the early 70’s, Gene took over the tobacco company from his father. The family moved from Roselawn, where they had been residing in Gene’s boyhood home, to Anderson Township. Eventually, Gene sold the tobacco company in order to open a business more suited to his interests, an executive search company known as Corporate Resources Limited (later called Xearch). After initial success in this venture, the economy made it difficult to make a long-term success of the business and he sold it. During the mid to late 80’s, Gene worked for several small businesses until, with the help of several friends, he opened a new company – Computer Environmental Control, Inc. – which is still a very successful business that he ran with his son, Jason, until Gene was no longer able to work.
Gene, Carol and their children had a wonderful life together, full of fun, laughter and vacation adventures to northern Canada, Lake Cumberland, KY, and the panhandle of Florida. Gene loved to work in his wood shop, repair cars, fish, dance, read and, more than anything, talk with people, laugh and share stories. He was the dear friend of so many, filling the role of “father” to those who lacked that relationship in their lives. Everywhere Gene went, people looked forward to seeing him and talking with him, whether it was at the bank, a restaurant or the grocery checkout line. After Carol passed away in 2006, Gene found friendship and companionship in Pamela Slater, whom he met during a ballroom dancing class. The two traveled together, dined out and simply enjoyed spending time together.
Gene leaves behind his son, Jason (Deborah) and daughter, Melissa; grandchildren Angie Jeffre (James), Rodney Phillips (Kelly) and Matthew Phillips; and greatgrandchildren Anabelle, Brooklynn and Sophia. Visitation and funeral services will be held at T.P. White & Sons on Friday, January 24th from 5:00-7:00 PM and January 25th at 10:00 AM, respectively. A reception will be held at Gene’s home on Saturday, the 25th of January at 2 P.M. In lieu of flowers, we would like to suggest a donation be made to Hospice of Cincinnati or a charity close to your heart.