Robert Jackson “Jack” Rogers was born on February 9, 1931, to Bertie Marie Anderson Rogers and Leonard Russell “Sandy” Rogers in Hargill, Texas.
His family moved to Mt. Calm, Texas, in 1936. Jack’s father passed in 1941, so he, his mom, and three siblings moved to Center, Texas, for a little while and then decided to move in with family in Taylor, Texas.
While in Taylor, his mom met and married Bert Sawdey. The family moved to California his freshman year of high school. After a few months, Jack decided to move back to Texas and in with his uncle in Hereford. His uncle was a cowboy and Jack learned a lot from him. He moved back to Taylor for his junior and senior year. He graduated from Taylor High School in 1949, having been a football, basketball, and track star. He was also voted “Most Handsome” every year of high school that he attended there.
After graduation, Jack had a partial scholarship to play basketball at Texas Tech University, but after three days, and hearing about some math credits he was lacking from his time spent in California, he decided he would prefer to continue pursuing his rodeo aspirations. (He had been rodeoing on the weekends.)
Jack worked for Texas Power and Light the summers during high school after graduation. He worked on a few ranches after that, working on one that was over 40,000 acres, where he worked breaking horses.
Jack met the love of his life, Shirley Heffington, in 1950 while he was working on the Rippy Ranch in Smithwick, Texas. He had to wait until she was old enough to date to ask her out, he said. They were inseparable from that time on, being a great team and married over 62 years when Shirley passed away in August of 2017.
When Jack and Shirley were married only 11 days, he had to go to Germany because he was drafted by the Army. He was gone for a year and a half, and they wrote to each other every day. Shirley worked at Home State Bank at the time and worked her way up to vice president there in 1964.
Jack and Shirley were very involved in the community in Marble Falls. In 1957, Jack and two friends, Bobby Burnam and Charlie Taylor, started the Marble Falls Rodeo Association. Jack was the president of the association for over 40 years. He helped countless young people get involved in the sport of rodeo. The rodeo association benefits the youth in the area in many ways, including through college scholarships and 4H support. For their efforts, Jack and Shirley received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce in 1999.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Joan Heffington Rogers; his parents, Marie Rogers Sawdey and Leonard Russell Rogers; his sister, Marjorie Rogers Kimbrough; his brother Dub Rogers; and his cousin Leonard Gray and wife Patsy Heffington Gray.
He is survived by his brother Tom Rogers and wife Teko of Kalespel Montana and his children: Steve Rogers and wife Nicole, Jacque Horn and husband Charlie, and Bubba Ussery and wife Betty. He will always be lovingly remembered by his grandkids: Ryan Rogers, Clay Rogers, Shilo Nelson, Wyatt Nelson and daughter Malori Jayde, Tyler Horn and wife Jessica, Sheridyn Horn and Denver Horn; and great-granddaughters: Ocie Louise and Eden James Horn.
His family will hold a memorial service for him on Thursday, January 5 at 2 p.m. at Marble Falls First Baptist Church with a graveside service being held at Smithwick Cemetery afterward. Visitation will be Wednesday, January 4, from 5-7 p.m. at Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Marble Falls.
Pallbearers are Troy Fox, Mike Johnson, Hilton Hopson, Johnny Ray Wallace, Dean McDonough, Steve Jenkins, and Craig Seward.
Online condolences may be made at www.clementswilcoxfuneralhome.com.
Donations can be made to the Marble Falls Rodeo Association in the name of Jack Rogers at P.O. Box 1984, Marble Falls TX 78654.