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Obituaries > ROGERS, DARWIN E.

Virginia Beach – Darwin E. “Gyp” (Jim) Rogers, 92, passed away peacefully, Thursday, January 21, 2016 at Windermere Nursing Center. He was preceded in death by his son, Donald Lyle Rogers. He is survived by his wife and best friend, Marion Rogers; his beloved daughter, Lynnette M. Rogers; his son, D. J. (Jimmy) Rogers (Karen) and step-daughters, Cynthia Vrugtman (John) and Kathryn Snyder and daughter-in-law, Martha Rogers. His granddaughters, Emily L. Posten (Eric), Shannon rogers, and Colleen Rogers, grandsons, Sean Rogers and Brent Lennihan and great grandson, Floyd Gentry Posten. Devoted pets, Chesty and Misty, will miss him too. Born February 10, 1923, Gilboa, NY, Rogers graduated from Ossining High School, Ossining, NY, where he grew up and remembers well his many friends there. Upon joining the Marine Corps in January, 1942, he was sent to California to join with other fellow Marines, where he volunteered for the 1st Raider [Battalion], Known as Edson’s Raiders. His unit trained in Samoa and was part of the first action of the war in the Pacific, hitting the island of Tulagi. After being wounded on Guadalcanal, he returned to Oakland Naval Hospital. Upon release, he joined the 4th Marine Division, training in tanks, returning to the Pacific, visiting, as he liked to say, many islands as Saipan and Tinian. His unit then trained for and fought the battle of Iwo Jima. He was selected for OCS and during his return to the States, the bomb was dropped and Rogers decided to leave the Corps, but remained in the Reserves. When the Korean War broke out, he was recalled and sent to Camp Pendleton, CA, as a Tank Commander training instructor until the end of the Korean action. He stayed devoted to his Raider history and participated financially in helping to build a school house on the Island of Tulagi. His participation in this dream was one of his proudest accomplishments. Then, as Rogers said, “I went to work”. Rogers went to work for Ballentine Beer in Brooklyn where, on his first day, the supervisor asked him if he had a nickname since Darwin didn’t seem right for a beer truck driver, to which Rogers said his nickname was “Gyp” and the super thought he said” Jim.” He felt it wasn’t important enough to explain to over 65 other drivers, so it stuck. However, he has always remained “Gyp” to his friends while growing up in Ossining, serving in the Corps and to his family. Rogers remained with Ballentine and progressed to Sales Representative, traveling to Tennessee and then to Norfolk, VA. He worked at the Ballentine distributorship, Best Brews, located on 22nd Street, and when Ballantine decided to make a change in the franchise, they offered Rogers the chance to take over the distributorship. Renamed Associated Distributors, Rogers’ knack for business and his deep sense of hard work made Associated one of the largest beverage distributors in the state. Known for his sense of honor and loyalty, he always believed that a man’s handshake was his word. He never veered from that belief. Rogers was extremely devoted to the efforts by the USMC Raiders in building a school house for the children on the island of Tulagi. So in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations can be made to any of the following: The United States Marine Raider Foundation, Attn: Charles Meacham, Jr. c/o Charles Meacham, Sr. Peninsula Retirement, 3445 50th Street, CT, NW, Unit 215, Gig Harbor, WA 98335-8619; All Saints Episcopal Church, 1969 Woodside Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23454; Sentara Hospice House, 3760 Sentara Way, Virginia Beach, VA 23452. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 11:00 am at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Laskin Road Chapel by The Very Reverend Dr. Stanley W. Sawyer.