Feature Story Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Chilliwack businessman leaves a huge legacy
Hundreds of people attended a Celebration of Life for Stanley Rogers last Friday at Evergreen Hall in Chilliwack.
hilliwack was reeling last week with the news that local businessman Stan Rogers, 66, had died suddenly of a heart attack.
His passing stung many in the community. A tremendous sense of loss continued throughout the week, culminating Friday in a Celebration of Life at Evergreen Hall.
If the tribute was held on the weekend, they would have needed a much bigger building because it was standing room only at the Hall.
According to City councillor Stewart McLean, who is also director and owner of MacLean's Funeral Services, they set out 500 chairs.
The popular businessman was born in 1948. He founded Rogers Flour mill and later went on to become president of Legacy Pacific.
He also served the community as president of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce and as a Rotarian.
He was a former president of the Chilliwack Liberal riding, and because of that, Rogers remained heavily embedded in the local political scene and maintained strong ties to the party throughout his business career. His son, Collin, has managed the campaigns of several local politicians.
Numerous speakers extolled Rogers' virtues and reminisced with funny ancedotes.
Familiar faces at the tribute included former MLA's Barry Penner and John Les.
Les recited a letter of condolence from premier Christy Clark in front of a hushed audience.
Les said he'd known Rogers for the last 18-years since his term as mayor. He described the businessman's efforts to put the Legacy Pacific Industrial Park project together, and how he was instrumental in Soprema finding a home in Chilliwack.
"Stan was perseverance personified. He hated to give up. But even when he when he couldn't succeed, another attribute of Stan's I'd seen before; and that was his unselfishness," said Les. "My friend Stan was a visionary and builder and a community supporter. Stan always put his hand up when there was work to be done. He loved the challenge, he thrived on hard work and he did it well. He insisted on excellence in everything he did."
"I will miss my only non-drinking vegetarian friend," quipped another speaker Alex Macdonald.
Chilliwack MLA's John Martin and Laurie Throness were also in attendance.
Throness told the Voice outside the Hall afterward, that he knew Rogers, and like many others, was really shaken up when he learned of his passing.
"I'm still in shock. He was unfailingly supportive, kind, polite, positive. He was a great guy. He's going to be missed, not only by me and his family, but also by this entire community," said Throness. "You can see here by the number of people who've come out to express their support, that Stan was well-loved in the community and that's what I'm going to remember about him."
FVRD Area B director Dennis Adamson originally met Rogers when he was a Liberal Party member. Later, when he joined the New Democrat Party, Adamson says that didn't bother Rogers at all.
"You could call him and he was there. It was just like it didn't matter. He'd answer the phone; 'Hey, Dennis, what can I do for you?'" he told the Voice. "Stan was a great guy, very honest, just a nice guy,"
They say we're all just cheap knock-offs of friends and mentors who've influenced us throughout our lives. With the passing of Rogers, many will step up and attempt to emulate him, but they'll just be knock-offs.
See more photos below.
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