William Lee Rodgers, 88, of Durham, passed away on June 29, 2018 following a lengthy illness. “Bill” has made Durham his home since retiring in 1968 after serving 23 years in the U.S. Navy and 10 years in the Naval Reserve. Upon moving to Durham he established the Dental Prosthetics Curriculum at Durham Community College and coordinated that program for 26 years. During that time he obtained his Bachelors Degree in Science. Upon his retirement from Durham Community College the William L. Rodgers Educational Scholarship was founded in his honor, awarding a scholarship each year to a student for further education in dental prosthetics.
Bill was a dedicated member of Guess Road Baptist Church for many years. He enjoyed the outdoors and was very happy when he was fishing, hunting, boating, and bird-watching. The family wishes to mention a special thanks to Michael Shipley M.D. who cared for Bill, his mother and his wife for over fifty years.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife Liz of IslaMorada FL, his parents Albert Curtis and Minnie Lee Rodgers of Miami FL and one sister, Veda Barbee of Greensboro NC. He is survived by one sister, Louise Nevolas and her husband Frank of Oklahoma City OK; three children, Susan Rodgers of Durham NC, David Rodgers and wife Janice of Chapel Hill NC, and Melissa Watts and husband Loren of Pensacola FL; nine grandchildren, Charles Diggs and wife Leah of Durham NC, Justin Diggs and wife Elaine of Creedmoor NC, Elliott Rodgers of Chapel Hill NC, Andrew Bennett Rodgers of Chapel Hill NC, Matthew Watts and Janelle Hart of Pensacola FL, Ian Watts of Los Angeles CA, Alex Watts of Pensacola FL, Brandy Watts of Pensacola FL, two step-grandchildren, Judson Leamon and Andrew Leamon of Durham NC, three great-grandchildren Lillian Hart and London Hart of Pensacola FL, Lilli Ruger of Creedmoor NC, nephews Curt Barbee and wife Teresia of Many, LA, and Bill Barbee of Greensboro NC .
A Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday July 5, 2018 in the Chapel of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham. The family will receive friends in the Hall-Wynne Chapel from 10-10:45 a.m. prior to the service. Private burial to follow at Oak Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Alzheimers Association or the UNC Hospice Organization which provided Bill with comfort in his final days.