Billy Joe Rogers, age 86 years old, departed this earth on February 26th, 2023, at St Bernard’s Medical Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He was born on November 30th, 1936, in Williford, Arkansas (Mammoth Spring) to Ezra Louis Rogers and Cecil Ora (Honeycutt) Rogers. He was united in marriage on February 18th, 1957, to Peggy Joan (Vincent) Rogers, of Fagus, MO and together they enjoyed 64 years and 9 months of matrimony. They had two daughters, Theresa Lee Rogers Hawes and Sandra Jean Rogers Sallings.
Billy was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend to countless others along life’s pathway. He came from humble beginnings but rose to become accomplished in several different occupations. He joined the Army at 17 years of age, earned his High School diploma and was a paratrooper. Before being discharged from the Army he married the love of his life, Peggy.
Upon leaving the Army he worked full-time as a journeyman machinist and a tool-and-dye maker for over 25 years. During that time, he also earned a commercial pilot’s license, and worked part-time as a fixed wing flight instructor at Lambert Field in St. Louis, Missouri. He then embarked on a new career lasting 30 years on Tow Boats, working his way up to Chief Engineer. He retired at age 70.
Billy was known for his good nature, always had a smile and a kind word. He was blessed with a beautiful voice and a natural talent for music. He was self-taught on several instruments including guitar, banjo, and piano. He continued to learn new instruments throughout his lifetime. One of his great joys was to play and sing with family and friends, in church, at nursing homes and at numerous public performances.
He enjoyed gardening and tended to his property, planting trees, and sharing his knowledge and respect for nature with his family and friends. It also gave him the greatest pleasure to teach life skills to his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and especially taking his great-grandchildren fishing. He was mechanically inclined and enjoyed teaching his family these skills as well. He believed being independent, respectful, kind, and hard-working was very important.
He was a man of faith who held his family dear and with the deepest love.
Preceded in death by his parents, wife, sister, Maxine Ora Rogers Burnett, four brothers; Arliss Junior Rogers, Bobby Gene Rogers, Ezra Hutch “Hutchie” Rogers, and Wesley Rogers, and nephew, Stanley Burnett.
Billy is survived by his daughter, Sandra Sallings, three grandsons; Mark Andrew Martin Junior (Jessica), Billy Joe Martin and Larry Wayne Bull, two granddaughters; Shana Marie Plant and Miranda Elaine Bull, two great- grandchildren, Kalli Jo Martin and Landon Avery Matin, brother, John Buck (J.B.) Rogers with whom he shared a deep brotherly love and spoke almost daily no matter the miles or distance, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, his faithful companion and best fur friend, Ben “ Benji” Rogers, grand-dogs Boomer Martin and Sister Martin , and grand-cat, Mouser Martin.
Graveside Memorial services will be on April 26, 2023, 3pm at the Cotton Creek Cemetery of Couch, Missouri with Full Military Honors. Officiating is Reverend Daryl Mitchell and the recorded songs by Billy Joe Rogers to be played will be “I Know a Man” and the “Family Bible”.