Husband, father, grandfather, friend, Navy SEAL, and avid motorcyclist Ronnie Edward Rogers left this world suddenly on May 20, 2021 at the age of 75.
Ron was born on Oct. 12, 1945 in Hillsdale, Michigan, the oldest of six children. A self-described “small town boy from Michigan,” he went to work on a local farm when he was just 12 years old to help support his family.
In 1966, Ron enlisted into the U.S. Navy. While in Basic Training, he volunteered to join a group of young Navy recruits who “knew how to swim.” This would prove to be a key step in his UDT SEAL career. Having served three tours in the Vietnam War and eight months in Operation Desert Storm, he retired as a Special Operations Warrant Officer and was highly decorated, most notably with the Bronze Star, Combat Action Medal and was honored by the President with a Presidential Unit Citation Medal. During his service in Vietnam, he was recognized several times for his acts of heroism involving conflict with an armed enemy and subjecting himself to immediate personal hazard in combat; recipients of such medals are considered to have distinguished oneself by heroic or meritorious achievement beyond the call of duty. For those blessed enough to have known Ron, this certainly comes as no surprise Ron served his country fully and proudly, until being honorably discharged in 1995.
Ron met and married Suzanne, his wife of 35 years, in Norfolk, Virginia where they began raising their children Tony and Vicky. The family moved from Virginia to Key West, Florida in 1972 where they lived for one year before moving to Imperial Beach, California. Upon returning from a WestPac cruise, Ron felt God’s calling to return to the Philippines. In December 1978, the Rogers’ family packed up and moved to the Philippines where Ron continued his Navy service while also assisting in the founding of an orphanage as well as building churches in remote locales in the island chain. In June 1982, they returned to Imperial Beach and continued a long-standing relationship with Midway Baptist Church.
His adventurous spirit was always at the forefront, taking his family on off-the-map camping and road trip escapades all across the U.S and Baja California. Ron once traveled with nine-year-old son Tony from Imperial Beach to Michigan to support an ailing relative, hitchhiking both there and back. Ron and Suzanne saw their children grow up, graduate college, and build families of their own. They were fantastic grandparents and played an active role in their grandkids’ lives. Ron supported Suzanne with incredible, selfless dedication for several years as she battled a terminal illness. He pursued many diverse interests after retirement, including working in real estate, running a summer camp for kids, and serving on the Imperial Beach City Council. But above all, he dedicated himself to the Lord Jesus Christ and seeking God’s will.
A common theme in Ron’s life has been his sense of adventure and discovery. He found an outlet for his bold spirit through his love of motorcycles, which he shared with his grandson Christopher. Ron rode Harley-Davidson motorcycles hundreds of thousands of miles, visiting locations all over the U.S., including his hometown of Hillsdale, Michigan, his daughter’s home in Springfield, Missouri, and numerous other places both on and off the map.
In 2012, Ron met Audrey Coleman. They fell in love, married, and made a home together in San Diego’s Del Cerro neighborhood. They proved to be a wonderful match for each other. They traveled the world and shared many adventures. They were blessed with two new grandchildren. During their time together, Ron and Audrey worked to help children in need all around the world and, above all, they shared an unwavering commitment to their relationship with God. They were dedicated to their key roles with the World Help Organization as well as organizing motorcycle rides to raise money for children’s charities.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 17 at 10:30 a.m. at City View Church in San Diego. Ron will be interred in a family plot at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego. He will be missed by the countless individuals whose lives he positively impacted during his lifetime.
Ron is survived by his wife Audrey Coleman and children Antony Edward Rogers, Victoria Lyn Rogers, and Matthew Ensign. He also leaves behind five grandchildren: Christopher Keaton Rogers, Parker Orion Jenkins, Elizabeth Marilee Rogers, Aleksandra Jane Ensign, and Audrey Love Ensign. Ron is also survived by his brother Leon Rogers and sisters Sue Arnold and Janet Myers.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Isabel Rogers, brothers Terry and Tom Rogers, and wife Suzanne Rogers.