Nature 28

William "Bill" Rodgers Jr.

October 18, 1938 ~ October 10, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old

William "Bill" Rodgers Jr. Obituary

William Howard Rodgers, Jr, best known as “Bill,” passed away peacefully at his home in Onancock, Va on October 10, 2023 at age 84. Bill was born October 18, 1938, on Chincoteague, the second son to William “Howard” Rodgers, Sr. and Nellie Tatem. 

Bill was an intelligent and inquisitive child. He only attended one day of kindergarten, and refused to go back, because he was “smarter than that teacher that couldn’t remember his name.” He had a love for science at an early age, performing experiments, and loved blowing things up in his parent’s garage.  He attended all of his primary school years on Chincoteague. His high school years were devoted to multiple clubs, and he excelled in both football and track. He qualified to compete in the state track meet his senior year. Despite skipping kindergarten, he graduated with honors from Chincoteague High School in 1957. His last year of high school he also discovered his love for his long-time friend, Anna Tolbert. They began dating their senior year. To everyone’s surprise, the couple eloped to Pocomoke, MD and they were married August 17, 1957.

After graduation, Bill left Chincoteague to attend the University of Virginia in Charlottsville. During the end of his freshman year, Bill and Ann welcomed their son, “Billy.”  Bill and Ann lived in UVA’s married housing, where they made many life-long friends and memories. In 1961, they welcomed their daughter, Kathryn “Kit.”   Bill graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in 1963. He continued on at UVA, achieving his Master’s of Science in Geology, graduating in 1965. 

In 1965, Bill began working for Texaco as a geologist. His time with Texaco took he and his family to New Orleans, Miami, Trinidad, WI, and West Texas. In New Orleans, they welcomed their third child, Mary. The family spent 10 wonderful years in Trinidad, where Bill spent much of his time outdoors. He loved sailing, and taught the Duke of Edinburgh boys how to sail. He loved playing golf, and exploring the local caves looking for crystals. After leaving Trinidad, the family had a short stent in Miami before moving to Midland, Texas where he retired from Texaco as Chief Geologist in 1985, after 20 years of adventures.

From 1985-1997 he joined Echo Corporation in Graham, Texas as Vice President of Exploration. In Graham, Bill enjoyed all the fun things Texas has to offer, hunting, fishing, playing golf, and taking in Texas Rangers baseball games. He also spent most summer days swimming in the pool with his children and grandchildren.

After retiring in 1997, Bill and Ann returned home to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where they build their dream home on the Chesapeake Bay. During retirement, Bill enjoyed woodworking. He built whatever piece of furniture Ann would dream up, just to her specifications. For several years he and Ann volunteered at the Chincoteague Museum. He spent much time playing games, or fishing, with Ann, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, whom he adored. He was an absolute cut-throat card player. Nothing brought a grin to his face faster than “shooting the moon” while playing Hearts, or playing an UNO Draw 4 card on an unsuspecting great-grandchild.

To say Bill will be missed by his family and friends is an understatement.

He leaves behind, Ann, his loving wife of 66 years; daughter Kit Jones and her husband “Jonesy,” granddaughter Crystal Hull (Robert); grandson Nicholas Rich (Melissa); grandson Jesse Partlow; grandson Micah Partlow; his great-grandchildren Avery, Reagan, and Robby Hull, and AJ and Ezzie Rich.

Bill is preceded in death by his mother, father, and brother, Richard “Dick” Rodgers; and his son, Billy, and daughter, Mary.

Memorial services will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, 2:00 p.m. at the Chincoteague Museum Pavilion, with Rev. Garland Stout officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Museum of Chincoteague Island 7125 Maddox Blvd. Chincoteague Island, Va 23336 .

Services entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home, Inc. on Chincoteague Island, VA.   Condolences may be made online at


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Memorial Service
October 19, 2023

2:00 PM
Museum of Chincoteague Island Pavilion
7125 Maddox Blvd
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336


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