Della Marie Rodgers passed away peacefully with her family at her side on July 28, 2020 at Oakwood Heights in Oil City, PA. Born Della Marie Ehrhart on June 25, 1933, in Venus, she attended the one-room Springer School as a child and graduated from Shippenville High School in 1950. After graduating she worked briefly at New Process in Warren, PA before returning to Oil City to work for United Natural Gas as a bookkeeper. She met the love of her life, Edward E. Rodgers, Jr., at the bus stop near Smithman Street and Carroll Avenue, and they were married on May 2, 1953, at the Venus Methodist Church.
Della and her husband Ed joined Grace United Methodist Church in Oil City in May of 1955 and they were very active in church activities, especially from 1960-1980 when Ed was the director of the church’s sanctuary choir. Della enjoyed sewing and needlework and helped with many church bazaars; she also graciously hosted many choir parties and picnics. She was a member of both the YWCA and the Belles Lettres Club in Oil City. She and Ed maintained a large beautiful lawn and garden for many years at their beloved home in Seneca. While Della spent most of her married life as a homemaker, wife, and mother, she also worked in education for a period of time in the 1960’s as a building aide at Tippery School. Della accompanied Ed on many business trips and loved to travel. Following Ed’s retirement from Pennzoil Company in 1986, Della and he began wintering at Royal Coachmen Resort in Nokomis, FL, where they were both active members in the Venice-Nokomis United Methodist Church Choir. In 2008 Della began her battle with severe and debilitating osteoporosis; she survived much pain and numerous fractures and surgeries related to her disease, which gradually took away much of her mobility. In 2018 following a brief illness she joined Ed as a resident of Oakwood Heights, where they both received expert and loving care from a talented and devoted staff.
Della is survived by her husband of 67 years, Edward E. Rodgers, Jr., who resides at Oakwood Heights. She is also survived by her daughter, Vicki Rodgers NeCastro and her husband, Dr. Gerard P. NeCastro, of Bethany, WV, and her granddaughter, Maria Therese NeCastro and fiancé Jordan Guy of Scarborough, ME. She is also survived by two siblings, Ruth “Pete” Kapp of Oakwood Heights (formerly of Venus) and Clifford “Boot” Ehrhart and wife Audine of Venus. She leaves behind many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews on the Ehrhart side as well as on the Rodgers side. She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Minnie Ehrhart, her stepmother, Dorothy Ehrhart, her in-laws, Velma and Edward E. Rodgers, Sr., along with brother-in-law Dick Kapp and sister and brother-in-law Betty Rodgers Cochran and Guy Cochran.
In accordance with Della’s wishes, there will be no public viewing or visitation. A private service for immediate family only will be held on Sunday, August 2nd at Hile-Best Funeral Home in Seneca, followed by interment at Sunset Hill Memorial Gardens. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at Grace United Methodist Church in the future in compliance with state mandated Covid-19 restrictions for large gatherings.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 100 Central Avenue, Oil City, PA 16301.
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