RIVERTON – Kenneth William Rogers, 72, of Riverton, passed away on Wed, Feb. 10, 2010, at Memorial Medical Center. Kenny was born Feb. 3, 1938, in Springfield, the son of Kenneth E. and Agnes Shinnick Rogers. He graduated from Lanphier High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in administration from Sangamon State University. He retired in 1991 after a 33-year career with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the mental health facilities in Jacksonville and Lincoln. He was a substitute teacher and mentored young musicians throughout the area. Education was an important part of his life.
Kenny played drums professionally for 60 years with bands including Hims & Her, a 3-piece combo with Fred Newell (a Grand Ole Opry band regular); Gail Miller; Chuck Ushman; Don Smith; big bands, swing bands, ragtime, Dixieland jazz; rock & roll bands (Moon Brothers); country bands (Red Neck Mothers); and recorded albums with the Don Smith Orchestra and John Stuper Polka Band. His final performance was a fundraiser last October for state Rep. Rich Brauer, where he played with Henry Dupont.
Kenny was a past member of the Illinois Army National Guard band, American Businessman’s Club, Springfield Ski Club, Springfield Municipal Band, Ansar Shrine, Shrine and Clown Bands, Scottish Rite, and Masonic Temple. In later years, Kenny was an avid golfer, playing his way around courses in central Illinois, as well as Yuma, Arizona.
His parents and a brother, Dr. Thomas E. Rogers, preceded him in death.
He is survived by two brothers, James A. and E. Donald (Alma) Rogers, several nieces, nephews, cousins and hundreds of friends, scattered throughout the country.
Memorial contributions may be made to Ansar Shrine, or to the Kenny Rogers Memorial Scholarship Fund for Young Musicians, c/o Sangamon County Community Foundation, 205 S. 5th St. Ste. 930, Springfield, IL 62701.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Thurs, Feb. 25, 2010, at Staab Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, at 10 a.m. at Staab Funeral Home. Burial will be in Roselawn Cemetery.