Glenn D. Rogers, 70, was born in Sacramento, California, on February 1, 1951. He passed away unexpectedly on August 30, 2021, peacefully in his sleep at his home in Sacramento, and journeyed on to his next big race in the sky.
He is survived by his wife, Jill Rogers, the love of his life for 48 years; his daughters, Robin Rogers and Wendy (Rogers) Shiraishi; his son-in-law, Jeffrey Shiraishi; his grandchildren, Jackson, Katey, and Aubrey Shiraishi; his siblings, Sharon Rogers Lopez, Sally Rivera Lingafeldt, and Wayne Rogers; his godmother, Sonja Scott; his godson, David Lopez; and many extended family members. He was preceded in passage from this life by his parents, Glenn and Fleurette Rogers, and his sister, Shirley Rogers.
Growing up on his family’s ranch in Sacramento, Glenn’s jobs on the farm included milking the cows, mowing the lawn, and working on trucks with his father. He was very clever and shy as a child. He was extremely self-disciplined and a straight-A student. Every day after school he would go directly to studying on his own. He enjoyed math, fishing, playing pranks, go-kart racing, and running. Whenever his family went horseback riding, he would run cross country alongside them. He would measure distances around the neighborhood and train at home. Sometimes he ran with weights around his ankles or a bag of cement on his shoulders. Running was his passion since childhood and he was always the record holder at school. Glenn attended Sierra Enterprise Elementary, James Rutter Junior High, and Joseph Kerr Junior High. He graduated from Elk Grove High School in 1969. As a young man, he drove trucks for his parents’ business, Arcade Sand and Gravel.
In 1973, Glenn earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento. He then worked for 30 years as a Deputy Probation Officer with Sacramento County at the Juvenile Hall and Boys Ranch, where he started their cross country team and guided those young men toward success. He took them to out-of-town meets and even to the ocean, which some had never been to before. He also taught them his farm and gardening skills. He was a straight-up, no-nonsense kind of man, who controlled the unit well but knew how to have fun, and the young men loved him. He played in law enforcement basketball and softball tournaments, and was an excellent pitcher. He retired from the county in 2003.
Glenn and Jill met in 1973, and married in 1975. In their younger years, they had fun dancing and bowling together. They loved family vacations to Bodega Bay and Hawaii, and were active in their children’s education and extracurricular activities. More recently, Glenn enjoyed spending time at home with Jill. He liked watching sports, movies, and reality television. He loved eating Jill’s home-cooked meals, especially a good burger. They went on nightly walks, talked with neighbors, and fed the neighborhood dogs. Glenn was happy tending to his yard, vegetable garden, wildflowers, and pond. He grew the biggest pumpkins ever to display in front of the house, and he always took good care of their cats. Glenn and Jill shared many wonderful moments, lots of love and laughter, and a trip to Hawaii together every winter.
Glenn loved running with his daughters, Robin and Wendy, and coached them through high school. Wendy started running with Glenn when she was in kindergarten. They ran together all throughout her running career. Every Saturday morning, you could find them running along the American River, the hills in Sloughhouse, or the track at Sacramento State, to get in a good practice. They entered many races together and he always made sure she crossed the finish line before he did.
Coach Rogers was the beloved head cross country coach and the distance track coach at Sheldon High School for 24 years, up until his passing. He built the Sheldon Cross Country team to be one of the strongest in Northern California, and every track season he organized the Sheldon Distance Carnival. He was extremely detailed and efficient, especially in doing what he loved. He received the Coach of the Year award multiple times, most recently in 2019. He was always there for his runners, studying their times, and encouraging growth and teamwork. He provided them with ice cold water and healthy snacks, and if a runner did not have proper running shoes, he took them shopping and made sure they got what was needed. His team was like extended family and his runners continued to stay in contact after graduation. He genuinely cared for all of them and had a lasting positive impact on so many lives.
He was quiet, strong, and fearless. He was intelligent, thoughtful, trustworthy, and well respected. He was a handyman, could fix anything, and even built on to the family house when he was in his mid-20s. He had a strong work ethic, put his heart and soul into all he did, and was always there to help those who needed him. Glenn had an amazing sense of humor and his laughter was contagious. He and Robin were always up to mischief together, playing some type of silly joke, and having a good laugh over it, even years later.
Glenn loved his family with all his heart. He was proud of his daughters and son-in-law, Jeffrey, who he thought of as his son. He especially loved his grandchildren, Jackson, Katey, and Aubrey, and cherished his time playing with them and watching them grow. They loved being with “Bapa,” and their faces lit up every time they saw him. Jackson always said Bapa was his “best buddy,” and Katey loved snuggling with Bapa while watching Paw Patrol. Aubrey and Bapa had a special greeting for each other, which made her giggle with excitement: “Oh Toodles!” Bapa was always there to push his grandchildren on the swings, give them fun airplane rides, take them for long wagon rides down to the pond, to pick berries, plums, and walnuts, and he always had a special snack waiting for them.
Glenn was a good man. He worked hard and was devoted to bettering the lives of his wife, children, and grandchildren. He is loved and respected by all who knew him, and will be incredibly missed. His legacy will live on through his family and in the hearts of the many lives he touched.
In accordance with his wishes, there will not be a memorial service. Sheldon High School is hosting a 5k run in Coach Rogers’ honor on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 8333 Kingsbridge Drive, Sacramento, California 95829. Check-in is at 8 a.m. The run will be at 8:30 a.m., with a celebration to follow in the school quad.
His family requests thoughts, memories, and photos be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations in Coach Rogers’ memory can be made to Sheldon High School Cross Country, c/o Athletic Director Jason Bumbaca, at the address listed above.