Doyle W. Rogers Sr., 94, of Batesville and Little Rock died peacefully at his Batesville home on Monday, February 4, 2013, with his beloved wife of 72 years, Josephine Raye Jackson Rogers, by his side.
Along with his sweetheart Josephine Raye, he is survived by his daughter, Barbara Josephine Rogers Hoover, and son, Doyle W. "Rog" Rogers Jr., and his wife Carolyn Wilmans Rogers, all of Little Rock.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ivan Floyd and Lola Taylor Rogers, his brothers Dorce and Ralph Rogers, his sister in law, Sarah Faye Jackson Lewis, and his son-in-law, Paul Williams Hoover Jr.
Doyle is survived by six grandchildren, Wendy Linnea Rogers Rasch and husband Major Blane Rasch, Jackson Doyle Rogers and wife Jyl Vickers Rogers, Josephine Lasley Hoover Felton and husband Dr. Daniel Felton IV, Jennifer Josephine Rogers Beck and husband Daniel Beck, Anastasia Elizabeth Rogers Williams and husband Cory Williams, and Joseph Joel Rogers and wife Kayla Dianne Rogers. Doyle also is survived by six great-grandchildren, Audrey Raye and Zeke Rasch, Josephine and Mary Eleanor Felton, Emerson Rogers, and Harrison Beck.
Born on October 20, 1918, in Diaz, Doyle and his family moved to Newport where his father was a telegrapher for the Missouri Pacific Railroad for many years. Doyle graduated from Newport High School where he fostered his love for the game of tennis. He was attending Arkansas State University when he met his sweetheart, Josephine Raye, in Newport. They soon had their first date, a mixed-doubles tennis match, and married fourteen months later. Doyle later joined the United States Air Force, was stationed in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was deployed to Burma where he was in charge of the military post office.
After the conclusion of World War II, Doyle returned to Newport where he worked for Railway Express. Later, he was transferred to Batesville where he served as the Railway Express manager. When offered the opportunity to become division supervisor in St. Louis, Missouri, Doyle followed his heart and chose to remain in the town of Batesville. Here, he established his real estate company, the Doyle Rogers Company.
It was Doyle's work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit that helped propel him into business success throughout his life. He pioneered a public-private partnership in 1982 when he developed the Statehouse Convention Center and the Excelsior Hotel, now the Peabody Little Rock. He purchased Metropolitan National Bank in 1983 and nurtured its growth and success. He remained Chairman of the Board of Metropolitan National Bank until his death. In 1985, he developed the Rogers Building, now the Stephens building, which was at the time the tallest building in Arkansas. Doyle was also Director Emeritus of Citizens Bank of Batesville after serving on its Board of Directors for many years. He was a past President of the Batesville Board of Realtors and received the President’s Award from the Arkansas Realtors Association. In 2006, Doyle was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sam W. Walton College of Business Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.
Doyle lived his life serving others, as he was inspired through a deep faith and love of God. He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Batesville for over 60 years, where he was Chairman of the Administrative Board. He was a past President of the Batesville Rotary Club and recipient of Paul Harris Fellow from the Batesville and Little Rock Rotary Clubs. He also received the Business Professional Person of the Year and Service Above Self Award from Rotary. Doyle was a proud member of the Scottish Rite, Mt. Zion Lodge #10, receiving the Thirty-Third Degree and the Grand Cross of the Court of Honour. Doyle served as President of the Quapaw Area Council for the Boy Scouts of America, during which he founded the annual, 100-mile National Invitational White River Canoe Race. He also received the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts. Doyle was a past President and founding member of the Arkansas Tennis Association and was inducted into the Arkansas Tennis Hall of Fame. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the White River Medical Center in Batesville. In 2009, Doyle and Raye received the Pat and Willard Walker Tribute Award from the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. And, Batesville honored Doyle by designating March 6, 2012, as Doyle Rogers Day.
Above all, Doyle loved his family and friends. Doyle and Raye had many lifelong friends with whom they travelled the world. Doyle met members of the "Roundtable" at Kelly's Restaurant in Batesville on most mornings for breakfast. Doyle was a member of the "Old Goat's Club" in Little Rock. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He concluded every phone call by telling you how much he loved you and how wonderful you were. He wrote to his grandchildren everyday they were in summer camp. Doyle's caring spirit, his attentive ear, his secret handshakes, special tea parties, and talks about the moon on the front porch will be missed by many loved ones.
Memorials may be given to White River Medical Center, 1710 Harrison Street, Batesville, Arkansas 72501, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, 629 Jack Stephens Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for the Hospital Expansion, 4301 West Markham, #716, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Jeanne Wei, Dr. Andrew Kumpuris, and Dr. Robert Walton for their loving care and Joyce Simms and Marsha Laboy for her service to the family.
Open visitation will start at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday with the family receiving friends from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Roller-Crouch Funeral Home in Batesville.
There will be a funeral service held on Thursday, February 7 at 11:00 am at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church at 4823 Woodlawn Drive in Little Rock with Rev. Vic Nixon, Rev. Bob Burton, Rev. Britt Skarda and Dr. Jeff Hampton officiating.
A burial service will follow immediately at Roselawn Memorial Park at 2801 Asher Avenue, in Little Rock under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home.
Pallbearers will be Daniel Beck, Dr. Daniel Felton IV, Major Blane Rasch, Jackson Doyle Rogers, Joel Rogers and Cory Williams.
Honorary pallbearers are H. D. Bailey, Dr. Ted Bailey, Dr. R. E. Bell, Gary Bebow, Lunsford Bridges, Sam Cooke, Dr. Robert “Lit” Craig, Gary Ennis, Sam Fiser, Barnett Grace, Preston Grace, Eddie House, Howard House, Tommy Lasiter, Bill Pratt, G .G. Rutherford, Dr. Walter Roettger, Dr. Bob Slaughter, Jack Stevenson, James A. Wallace, Dr. Bob Walton, Dr. Don Weatherman, Howard Wiechern and Dr. C. D. Williams.