Edward E. Rodgers, Jr. passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 1, 2022, at Oakwood Heights in Oil City where he had resided for the past five years.
Born on February 25, 1928, in Oil City, the son of Edward Eugene Rodgers, Sr. and Velma Elvira Chapman Rodgers, Ed Rodgers grew up on Oil City’s north side and was a 1945 graduate of Oil City High School. On May 2, 1953, he and the former Della Marie Ehrhart of Venus, Pa. were married in the Venus Methodist Church by Rev. F. Victor Korb.
Ed Rodgers held Diplomas in Traffic Management from LaSalle College, Chicago, and studied Transportation Law and Interstate Commerce Procedure at Gannon College in Erie. In July of 1946, he began to work as a Clerk in the Traffic Department at Pennzoil Company's Oil City office in the Drake Building. After serving as Chief Clerk, he was named Traffic Manager in December of 1957, and subsequently received several promotions, including Manager of Supply and Distribution, Manager of Administration for Pennzoil's Eastern Refining Division, Director of Materials, Pennzoil Products Company, with additional responsibility as Administrative Head of Pennzoil's Oil City Office and Assistant Corporate Secretary serving operations in the Oil City area.
Ed Rodgers retired from Pennzoil Company September 1, 1986, after completing 40 years of service with the company. Prior to and after his retirement he was active in many community organizations. He was a former member of the Board of Directors of Community Services of Venango County, Venango County Historical Society, Oil City YMCA, The Oil City Chamber of Commerce, and was a Past President of the Venango-Forest County Unit of the American Cancer Society. He held memberships in The Oil City Club, The Oil City Arts Council, The Pittsburgh Traffic & Transportation Association, The Industrial Traffic Division of the American Petroleum Institute, and was a life member and Past President of the Oil City-Franklin Traffic Club. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of National Transit Company from 1977-1986. He was also a Charter Member of The Colonel, Inc., which is now Friends of Drake Well, Inc. He was a 70 year-plus life-member of Petrolia Masonic Lodge No. 363 as well as The Venango Lodge of Perfection and the New Castle Consistory.
From an early age, Ed was very involved in musical activities. At age 16, he started playing Trumpet in local dance bands and served as vocalist as well. For several years, he was a member of the Hal Brown Dance Band. In the late 40's and early 50's he played French Horn with the Oil City Civic Orchestra, under the direction of Major Donald Olmes and during the same period was a member of the Oil City American Legion National Champion 40 and 8 Concert and Marching Band under the direction of Harland C. Mitchell. He also performed in numerous Musicals Presented by Oil City Clubs and Organizations. Most recently, he was a member of Mostly Brass, Oil City's "Home Town Band" organized by Bob English.
Ed was also very active in Church activities. On May 22, 1955, both he and his wife joined Grace United Methodist Church in Oil City where he served on several committees and from 1960 to 1980 was Director of the Church's Sanctuary Choir. Following his retirement, the Rodgers wintered in Nokomis, Florida, where they were both active members of the Venice-Nokomis United Methodist Church Choir. Ed also sang with the Royal Coachmen Chorus and served as one of their Directors for five years.
Ed spent his last five years at Oakwood Heights Presbyterian SeniorCare in Oil City, where he and his wife Della were much loved by the staff and other residents.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Rodgers Cochran and her husband, Guy W. Cochran, Jr., of Oil City, his brother-in-law, George Richard Kapp of Venus, his sister-in-law Audine Domer Ehrhart, his special cousin Glenn C. Rodgers of Titusville, and his loving wife of sixty-nine years, Della Marie Ehrhart Rodgers.
Survivors include their daughter, Vicki Marie Rodgers NeCastro, and her husband, Dr. Gerard P. NeCastro, of Bethany, West Virginia; as well as his beloved grand-daughter, Maria Therese NeCastro, and her fiancé, Jordan Robert Guy, of Saco, Maine. He is also survived by one sister-in-law, Ruth Ehrhart Kapp, and one brother-in-law, Clifford (Boot) Ehrhart, of Venus, along with several cousins, nieces, nephews and their families.
Hile-Best Funeral Home in Seneca is completing private funeral arrangements, and interment will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens. At his request, there will be no public viewing or visitation, however, a memorial service is being planned for the autumn at Grace United Methodist Church in Oil City for both Ed and his late wife Della.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 100 Central Avenue, Oil City, PA 16301. To express online condolences, please visit www.hilebest.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Edward E. Rodgers, Jr., please visit our floral store.