OBITUARY: RJ Rogers, Former Captain of Saline Hockey, Had a Big Heart and Generous Spirit

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Ronald James Rogers, “RJ”, was born on April 4, 1997 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI to Scott and Marissa Rogers. After an acute illness, RJ passed away on December 3, 2022 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

RJ had a big heart and was very giving. As a child, after hearing of a friend whose dog had passed away but didn’t have the money to bury him, RJ went upstairs and descended with money. It wasn’t much but it was all he had and wanted to give it to this friend so she could bury her beloved pet. This generosity, love, and caring was a theme throughout RJ’s short life; when he gave his heart to something or someone, he was all in. RJ was a gentle soul, with a quiet personality, who had the unique ability not to take himself too seriously and was able to poke fun at himself from time to time.

RJ loved his family and enjoyed the time they spent together, whether skiing, vacationing, or just spending the afternoon with a round of family golf. RJ’s biggest passion was hockey and he was never as happy as when he was on the ice with his friends, whether it be on an ice rink or a great game of pond hockey. The love he had for his hockey family was unparalleled. RJ met most of his hockey family at a young age playing hockey for the Ann Arbor Amateur Hockey Association (AAAHA). 

Over the next decade, this group remained close and played together throughout high school leading Saline High to an undefeated regular season and a conference championship in his senior year, as a hard-hitting starting defenseman.

RJ graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the School of Education. Over the last five years, RJ worked as a Patient Care Technician (PCT) on the cardiac and thoracic surgery stepdown unit at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI while working towards a degree in nursing.

RJ’s big heart and caring nature continued even in his death as he had registered himself on the donor registry. RJ was able to provide multiple tissue donations to help other individuals lead better and more normal lives.

RJ is survived by his parents, Scott and Marissa; his brother, Connor; grandparents, James and Betty Nolan; grandmother, Joan Rogers; aunts and uncles, Stacey (Brian) Gedeon, Cara Rogers, Erin (Ben) Strawbridge; and his hockey family consisting of many lifelong friends, whom he loved dearly.

RJ is preceded in death by his grandparents, Ronald Rogers and Linda Rogers.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in RJ’s honor to: The RJ Rogers Memorial Scholarship Fund established within Ann Arbor Amateur Hockey Association (AAAHA). Checks may be made payable to AAAHA, adding “RJ Rogers Scholarship Fund” in the memo line, and sent to AAAHA - 2121 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 or by visiting https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=VH8X5NKRAMFYG to donate online.

A memorial gathering will take place Friday, December 9, 2022 from 4-8pm with a Rosary at 7pm at Nie Family Funeral Home, 3767 W. Liberty Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

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