Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Frank Rogers Jr., 76, practiced law for more than 50 years
He was a great sounding board and a voice of reason, said Tom Bagby, CEO of Woods Rogers.
Frank W. Rogers Jr., 76, a practicing lawyer for more than 50 years and senior member of Woods Rogers law firm's tax group, died Monday morning.
"Bo" Rogers, as he was affectionately known by his family and friends because he had a twin brother named Bob, loved to help people with his work in every way he could, colleagues said.
"He is the epitome of a true Southern gentleman," said his son, Frank Rogers III. "A loving family man and giving in every way I could imagine."
Frank Rogers III said when he was in elementary school he would go to his dad's office on Saturdays. "He tended to talk more about the people, the clients, than the work himself," Frank Rogers said.
There, he saw the passion his father had for his work as an attorney, and that inspired him and his sister to become lawyers. "At that age, I wasn't old enough to appreciate what he did, the people that he would describe. He had such high regard for what he was doing, something I thought I should aspire to."
Frank Rogers Jr. celebrated 50 years of service as a member of the Virginia State Bar last year. For the past 20 years he has been one of a group of Woods Rogers attorneys selected for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in America." He has been named in "Virginia Business" magazines Legal Elite.
Bill Poff, a former principal and counsel for Woods Rogers, said Rogers was a caring man who could always be counted on for loyalty. He would never say kind things to your face and bad things behind your back, Poff said.
"I regarded him as a good, loyal friend who was also my lawyer," Poff said, whose office in Roanoke sits next to Rogers. "He also wrote my wills and the will of my first wife who died. He was a person you could go and confide in and seek advice from and expect what you told him would be kept in his office."
Rogers was a great sounding board and a voice of reason no matter what the issue was, said Tom Bagby, chairman and chief executive officer of Woods Rogers. He served as an informal ombudsman for the law firm.
"He was someone you immediately felt comfortable with," Bagby said. "Aside from his legal career, which was extraordinary, he was highly regarded not only locally but anyone who came in contact with him always appreciated Bo as a person."
A thin, athletic man, Rogers liked to hit golf balls at lunch during the summer and jog in the winter. The Roanoke resident also was fond of telling clean, witty jokes that he picked up while working out at the YMCA or had read in The New Yorker magazine.
Rogers graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1951. He served as a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the United States Army from 1954 until 1958. He completed his service with the rank of captain.
Rogers was a member of the board of trustees at Hollins University and the Roanoke Public Library Foundation.
Dan Layman, president of the firm at Woods Rogers, said even in recent years, when Rogers had supposedly cut down his workload at the firm, the attorney who liked to wear his coat and tie, still kept coming in every morning at 8.
"He was here late in the afternoon and put in a full day," Layman said. "Bo is very well known throughout the state, Virginia State Bar, and it's going to be difficult to find a building large enough to hold everyone who will want to attend his funeral, I'm sure."
Frank Rogers IIIsaid plans for a funeral have not been completed.