Rodger passed away [April 22, 2014] at his home in Benton City after a long battle with cancer.
Rodger was born in Spokane and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he grew up during the Great Depression. Once World War II broke out, Rodger joined the United States Marine Corps as one of the “Carlson’s” Raiders of the 2nd Marine Raiders Battalion. He fought in 3 major battles: Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Iwo Jima. After military service he attended secretarial and business school in Portland where he met his wife Viola (Vi). They married March 19, 1948 in Pasco, WA. They were married for over 60+ years and did everything together. Rodger worked in the accounting field at Hanford, retiring from Energy Northwest at the age of 62.
He was a long time resident of Benton City. He and Vi purchased a home there in 1953. Together they enjoyed fishing, hunting, bowling and taking vacations to the beach and various lakes. Rodger and Vi liked to travel and enjoyed visiting casinos throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada.
Rodger loved being a husband, father and grandfather. He was extremely proud of his family and enjoyed visiting with his grandchildren; they enjoyed his stories and described him as “awesome.” He was always proud to be a Marine and very patriotic. He had a “heart of gold,” was well-liked by everyone and a wonderful dad and grandparent. Rodger will certainly be missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his daughter, Ginny (Rich) Howard of Goldendale, WA; son, Jim (Traci) Spencer of Austin, TX; grandchildren, Kevin Long, Ryan Spencer and Shannon Howard; great-grandchildren, Brittany, Tori, Spencer, Halle, Alivia and Connor; sister-in-law, Elvie Sapp; and niece, Sharon Breeze. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Viola Spencer; and his father and mother, Jack and Lucille Spencer.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, April 27, 2014 at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 915 Bypass Highway, Richland, WA.
Memorial contributions may be made to Tri Cities Cancer Center, Kennewick, WA 99336.