Ralph Loucks Rogers, retired research chemist

Ralph L. Rogers
Ralph L. Rogers
Posted: July 24, 2014

Ralph Loucks Rogers, 92, formerly of Norwood, Delaware County, a retired research chemist, died Thursday, July 10, of heart failure at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind.

He had lived at Peabody Retirement Center in North Manchester, Ind., since 2009. In 1996, he moved to Indiana to be near family.

Born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., he lived in Pittsburgh until he was 9, when he moved to the Loucks family homestead and dairy farm in Scottdale, Pa. It was while working in the dairy that Mr. Rogers' lifelong interest in science was kindled.

Mr. Rogers, a graduate of Scottdale High School, joined the Army in 1943 and studied electrical engineering. He served as a telephone repeaterman in Burma during World War II, installing, adjusting, and maintaining repeater and carrier equipment used in a military longlines-wire communication system, according to his military papers.

After the war, Mr. Rogers earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Juniata College and his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

He married Louise Bierly on Flag Day 1947. The two moved to Norwood, where they raised four children.

Mr. Rogers worked as a research chemist at Arco Chemical Co. for 35 years. After retiring, he received a degree in computer science from Delaware County Community College, a school that he had helped found. He began a second career as a computer-science professor there.

"At his graduation, Ralph had the singular distinction of being the only graduate to take the stage simultaneously as a trustee, professor, and student of the college," said his daughter, Susan. "He was so proud of that, and we were proud of him."

A civic volunteer, he was active with the Norwood United Methodist Church, served as member and president of the Delaware County School Board, and worked with the American Red Cross.

Known for his sense of humor and love of wordplay, Mr. Rogers enjoyed puns and creating cryptograms.

His wife died in 2003. Besides his daughter, he is survived by sons Thomas, Richard, and James; 10 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a sister. A grandson died earlier.

Mr. Rogers donated his body to the Indiana University Medical School.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at North Manchester United Methodist Church.

Donations in his memory may be made to the American Red Cross via www.redcross.org/.  



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