Bernell D. Rogers, 94, of Torrance, CA, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 21st, 2017 at his home, surrounded by loved ones. Bernell was born November 28th, 1922 in Morgan, Utah, the third child of Curtis and Thelma Rogers. He was the only son and had five sisters. Bernell spent his early childhood in Morgan lear…read more
Bernell D. Rogers, 94, of Torrance, CA, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 21st, 2017 at his home, surrounded by loved ones. Bernell was born November 28th, 1922 in Morgan, Utah, the third child of Curtis and Thelma Rogers. He was the only son and had five sisters. Bernell spent his early childhood in Morgan learning to love the great outdoors, hiking, fishing, and hunting. He attended Morgan High School and graduated in 1940. Bernell loved to use his hands to make and repair things.This led to a job at Hill Air Force Base as an Aviation Mechanic. During World War II he served in the Army Air Corp and found himself in the Pacific War Theater as a B 29 mechanic on Guam. After the war he returned home to Morgan and met his future wife, Marjorie Newman at a dance. After a short courtship, Bernell and Marjorie eloped to Elko, Nevada, and started life as husband and wife. They enjoyed 67 years of marriage and raised 6 children.
Shortly after getting married, Bernell attended the University of Utah and received a degree as an Electrical Engineer. Bernell went to work at Hughes Aircraft Company in El Segundo, CA, after graduating. He worked through several job assignments and was promoted into program management. During this period, President John F. Kennedy declared that the United States would be the first to the moon and Bernell was one of the engineers that stood up to the task. He changed jobs and became the project manager of the Apollo Command Module Flight Simulator program at North American Rockwell. This is the same flight simulator that was so prominent in saving the lives of the Apollo 13 crew. During his tenure, he built 5 different Apollo Simulators that were used during the Apollo Moon Landings, through the Skylab missions and the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission. He maintained a love of all things related to aerospace his whole life.
Bernell was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in various callings. He loved the gospel and the fellowship he received from church members. He had many favorite hymns and knew all of their verses..
He was a wonderful and devoted father to his 6 children. He loved the great outdoors and imparted to them a love of hiking, fishing, tennis, and stargazing. He loved to camp into his mid-80’s. While his family might be camping in trailers and motor homes, he and Marjorie would be in his beloved camper, or a small tent. He taught his 25 grandchildren to love the outdoors, seek out knowledge and always be adventurous. He loved skiing and skied until suffering a severely broken leg. Even then, he taught all of his children how to ski. Another sport he loved was golf. He had an extremely competitive nature when he played. In the final years of his life, Bernell bravely battled debilitating health challenges. Despite these challenges, he never lost his sense of humor, kindness, and dignity. To the very end he continued his love of music, including singing, playing his keyboard, and drumming.
He was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie, his parents, 3 sisters, and 1 grandson. He is survived by 2 sisters, Florence Sowell of Pocatello, ID, Sherolyn Jenkins of Morgan, UT, his six children, Mark (Debbie) Rogers of So. Ogden, UT, Pamela (Chuck) Brantingham of Carpenteria, CA , Julie (Wayne) Tuttle of Torrance, CA, Marsha (Craig) Hamilton of Palmdale, CA, Cheryl (Peter) Holzer of Fallbrook, CA, and Brent (Cyndee) Rogers of Spokane, WA. Bernell is also survived by 24 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
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