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Mr. Benjamin "Ben" Rogers (Deceased)
Graduated 2003

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Ben’s parents, David and Lana Rogers may be contacted at lfayenrock@cox-internet.com

Obituary – – – – – –

I give thanks to my God at

every remembrance of you.

Philippians 1.3

August 13, 1981 – March 6, 2005

ABBEVILLE – Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 11, 2005, at a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church for Benjamin Jude Rogers, 23, who died Sunday, March 6, 2005, in Los Angeles, Calif. due to the result of an automobile accident.

Interment will be at St. Paul Cemetery in Abbeville.

The Rev. Donald Theriot, family friend, will be the celebrant of the Mass and will conduct the funeral services.

Serving as Eucharistic ministers will be Ethel L. Gaspard, Effie B. Rogers, Nelson Schexnayder and Kayla Gaspard. Gift bearers will be godfather, Randall Gaspard, and godmother, Mary Katherine Rogers. Musical selections will be performed by vocalist, Wayne Hebert, and organist, Dexter Thibodeaux.

Ben was a 1995 graduate of Mount Carmel Elementary and a 1999 graduate of Vermilion Catholic High School where he excelled as an honor student and out- standing athlete. It was in the earliest years of Ben’s life that he came to value his Catholic faith. He loved his God and was a truly spiritual person. He went on to earn a degree in Exercise Science in 2003 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Being a Ragin’ Cajun was an important part of Ben’s life. He continued his athletic career while attending UL Lafayette as a four- year letterman on the Ragin’ Cajun Track and Field team, where he competed as a decathlete. His senior year, he was chosen as Track and Field Athlete of the Year. In the article honoring him, he stated, “When I came to the University it was like I already had a lot of friends here the school has been great to me. If it wasn’t for UL Lafayette, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Ben was also described as having a generous smile, a talent for competition and a carefree attitude. Although he had the look of a rebel and the size of a giant, anyone who knew Ben knew he had a soft side. He was very easy to talk to and each time you walked away from him it was with a smile. Ben loved life and chose to live it to the fullest. He had the unique ability of being able to light up a room and make everyone laugh. Sports played an important role in his life and he was motivated and goal-oriented. But most important to Ben were his family and friends. Anyone who knew Ben loved him. At one point in the article, he stated “the last four years have been a long journey of maturing and trying to find my place in the world. I’m still not sure I found it.” When asked to describe himself in four words, the ones that Ben chose were mo- tivated, tired, lucky and blessed. He then added “the only thing I’m sure of is that I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk the rest of my life”. In a letter written to his parents following September 11th, he stated “I hope that each and every person that died in the horrific event at the World Trade Centers had someone in their lives half the caliber of you two because then I can rest easy knowing they had lived and been loved”. Rest easy, Ben, you have lived and been loved.

Benjamin is survived by his parents, David and Lana Rogers, of Abbeville, La.; a sister, Maria Nichole and her husband, Chad Phares, of Lafayette, La.; two brothers, Baron David Rogers and his wife, Kelly, of Los Angeles, Calif., and Matthew Anthony Rogers, of New Orleans, La.; nieces, Payton Claire Phares and Stella August Rogers; nephew, Aric Alexander VanHalen; maternal grandmother, Ethel L. Gaspard; paternal grandparents, J.C. and Effie Rogers; aunts, Mary Katherine Rogers, Joycelyn and her husband, Rueben Broussard, Sandra and her husband, Sonny Luquette; uncles, Tommie Rogers and his wife, Janice, Kelly Rogers and his wife, Jessie, Randall Gaspard and his wife, Theresa; his cousins; and a multitude of friends who will all miss him dearly.

Ben was predeceased by his maternal grandfather, Preston P. Gaspard; and his cousin, Frank David Broussard.

Visitation was observed from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. Thursday and will continue from 8 a.m. today until 10:45 a.m. when the procession will depart for the church.

A rosary was prayed at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Pallbearers will be Baron David Rogers, Matthew Anthony Rogers, Chad John Phares, Aric Alexander VanHalen, Douglas Vicknair, Patrick Thistlewaite and Kade Slaughter.

Honorary pallbearers will be Randall Paul Gaspard, Grant James Broussard, Jerrod Brock Luquette, Joshua Paul Gaspard, Tyler Nicholas Carruth, all former classmates and all former team members.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up in Ben’s name at the Bank of Abbeville, 123 Concord Street, Abbeville, (337) 893-0257. Contact Vickie Thompson or Randall Reid. All contributions will be dedicated to benefit the U.L. Track and Field program.

Vincent Funeral Home, 209 S. St. Charles, Abbeville, (337) 893- 4661, is in charge of arrangements.

Originally published March 11, 2005
The Daily Advertiser

March 8, 2005

Former UL track star Rogers dies in accident

Kevin Foote
kfoote@theadvertiser.com

Former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun track and field standout Ben Rogers died in a one-car accident in Los Angeles on Sunday evening.

Rogers, 23, was a 1999 graduate of Vermilion Catholic High in Abbeville, and was a 2003 graduate of the University of Louisiana.

“We’re just getting bits and pieces of information,” Rogers’ aunt Theresa Gaspard said. “All we really know right now is that he lost control and hit a tree at about 8:45 Sunday night. He had been living there almost a year.”

Rogers, the younger brother of former UL football player Baron Rogers, was a double winner at the state track and field meet his senior year at Vermilion Catholic.

He later became a decathlete for the Cajuns’ track program, finishing in the runner-up position in the decathlon at the Sun Belt Championships his senior season in 2003.

“He was a super kid,” said UL head track and field coach Lance Veazey, who was an assistant coach then who directly coached Rogers his final two years. “He was a very determined kid. As a decathlete, you always had to put in extra time, and he was always there working his tail off.

“He really was a very dedicated person. It’s really a tragedy, because this was a kid who had a great future ahead of him.”

Rogers’ sudden death was the third tragedy in four years for members of the Cajuns’ track program. Longtime head track coach Charles Lancon died in April 2002 of a heart attack and Rogers’ teammate John Melvin of Berwick died in February 2003 in a motorcycle accident.

“It just seems like we keep getting this awful news this time of the year around here,” Veazey said. “I just was at a memorial for John (Melvin) on Feb. 17, and now this happens. We were just commenting around the track the other day about how this is a bad time of the year for us.”

Gaspard said funeral services for Rogers won’t likely be set until today.

Originally published March 8, 2005