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Rodger L. Johnson

May 21, 1931 November 28, 2011
Rodger L. Johnson
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Obituary for Rodger L. Johnson

Lovingly Remembered

Rodger L. Johnson, son of Roverta and Walter Johnson, peacefully passed away and was called home to God on Monday, November 28, 2011 to spend eternity with his mother, father and 2 sisters Catherine E. Bridget and Janet L. Chupp.

Rodger was born on May 21, 1931 in Port Deposit, Maryland.  While attending elementary school, he and 4 of his friends started a small music group in which Rodger sang and played the tonette(similar to the flute).  Later the family moved to Philadelphia, where he attended Vaux Junior High School and Benjamin Franklin High School.  After graduation, Rodger joined the Army.  He served for 2 years, receiving an honorable discharge.  On January 23, 1954, Rodger married Alice Hatcher, who was a close friend of his sister, Catherine.  They were married 57 years until his death.  They had 1 daughter, Michele and 1 granddaughter, Aliyah.

In 1957, Rodger began working for the United States Postal Service where he was employed for 31 years, retiring in 1988.  In addition to his job, he would often take handyman jobs.  He installed aluminum siding on neighbors' houses alongside his brothers in law and several of his nephews, in whom he instilled an excellent work ethic.  he did not only work; Rodger was an avid bowler, one belonging to a bowling league.  He also loved to get away.  Many, many Sundays were spent in Atlantic City with his family and that of his best friend, Edeard Hubbard, whom he affectionately called "Brother".  In the 70's, there were several vacations spent at Kings Lodge with family and friends.  He also took his family to Jamaica and later he and Alice enjoyed many cruise vacations.  Rodger and Alice also took great pleasure in inviting family and friends to their timeshare in Orlando.

In 1984, Rodger became a Trustee at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.  He served on the Trustee Board for 25 years, in various positions including 1st Vice Chairperson.  More than just serving as Trustee, he would often cook for them and was very instrumental in coordination the Trustees' annual Christmas Dinner and the summer barbecues.  Rodger became Trustee Emeritus on June 28, 2009.

Also in the early 80's, Rodger joined Amway, which became a life altering experience.  Rodger, who had always been known as a strong but very quiet man, suddenly became quite talkative, enthusiastically and passionately extolling the virtues of the Amway product line and recruiting others to the business as well.  he remained an active advocate for Amway until his illness in 2009.

Rodger was a very dedicated family man; he was a loving husband, proud father and doting grandfather.  But he also strongly believed in forging lasting bonds across his entire family through various types of gatherings.  He organized family reunions, most recently diligently working to pull the family together in 2009.  Each year, he and Alice hosted a large and much anticipated Thanksgiving dinner to which all family was welcome.  He was also a key organizer of the annual crab feast at the New Jersey home of his sister, LaDoris.  He delegated tasks and drew "floor plans" to ensure the food could be properly displayed.  Of course he would prepare his famous cole slaw and his specially formulated fruit punch.  Rodger also served on the board of the family cemetery, Berkley Cemetery.  He was 1 of the organizers of the annual meeting held in support of the cemetery, for which he cooked and zealously encouraged family participation.  He was passionate about keeping it going and maintained.  Rodger was not only  a family man, he was always willing to lend a helping hand: to give a ride, fix a roof, paint a room or simply visit a sick friend or relative.

Rodger is survived by his wife, Alice; daughter, Michele Johnson; granddaughter, Aliyah Johnson; god-daughter, Pamela Lovell; brother, James Johnson; sister LaDoris Carter; brothers-in-law, Rex Bridget, Clarence(Geno) Hatcher and Charles(Duke) Hatcher along with a host of nieces, nephews and other family members and friends.

There will be a viewing Tuesday, December 6, 2011 9:00 AM at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church located at 5732 Race Street in Philadelphia, PA.  The funeral service will start at 11:00 AM.  Final resting place to conclude at Rolling Green Memorial Park in West Chester, PA.

To send flowers in memory of Rodger L. Johnson, visit the Tribute Store.

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