Our beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, teacher and friend, Ralph Gilbert Rodgers, Jr., passed away May 2, 1996, in Bountiful, Utah. He was 59.
Born August 16, 1936, in Salt Lake City, the son of Isabelle Stagg Rodgers and Ralph Gilbert Rodgers, Sr. He married Joan Williams on June 17, 1960 in the Salt Lake Temple. Intelligent, talented, and creative, Ralph lived life fully. He devoted his life to his family, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the performing arts.As a young missionary for the LDS Church serving in the Samoan Islands, Ralph developed a life-long love for the Polynesian people. In 1971, he returned to Samoa with his family for three years as Mission President of the Samoa Mission. Other LDS Church callings he held include: Regional Representative, Chairman of the Church's Pageant Committee, Young Men's General Board member, and his favorite -- teacher. He also was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Jay Welch Chorale.
After graduating from the University of Utah in 1961 with a degree in music education, Ralph taught music at Granite Park Jr. High and later was Choral Director at Granite High School where he produced outstanding musical theatre and directed award winning choirs. Later, as General Manager of the Promised Valley Playhouse (1974-83), Ralph brought many seasons of successful stage productions to the community. His original religious productions, often of epic proportions, played to thousands in arenas throughout the western United States. From 1983 to 1988, Ralph was President and General Manager of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, where he combined his love for theatre with his devotion and affection for the people of the South Seas. While with the Cultural Center, he served as an advisor to the People's Republic of China on tourism and was instrumental in introducing the LDS Church to China. Upon his return to Utah, Ralph established the Pages Lane Theatre and Performing Arts School in Davis County. Hundreds of young performers have showcased their talents there because of Ralph's efforts. Ralph also performed in, produced, and directed many shows such as "Scrooge" and "Fiddler on the Roof," receiving critical acclaim. He was widely sought after as a speaker, actor, and comedian, and his clear tenor voice was enjoyed by thousands. His passing leaves a great void.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Joan; sons, David (Gisele), Scott (Sharon), Steven (Pepelo), and Adam; daughters, Rebecca (Jeff) Hansen, and Mary, who is serving an LDS mission in Carlsbad, California; his sister, Margo Beecher (David); seven grandchildren, Devon, Jessica, Todd, Paul, Jeffrey, Ashley, and Lorin; and many other members of his close family.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 6, 1996, at 11 a.m. at the Mueller Park Stake Center, 1800 Mueller Park Road, Bountiful. Friends may call Sunday evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the Pages Lane Theatre, 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville, and at the church on Monday at 9:30 a.m. prior to services. Interment will be at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Ralph G. Rodgers Performing Arts Scholarship Fund, c/o Pages Lane Theatre, P.O. Box 62, Centerville, Utah, 84014. Funeral Directors: Goff Mortuary.
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