Rodger Anderton Rowland

Published 3:50 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

Rodger Anderton Rowland, 72, passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 28, at Merit River Region Hospital in Vicksburg. His passing was related to complications of a heart condition.

Rodger was born in Vicksburg and grew up in the Culkin community, attending Woodlawn Baptist Church and Culkin Elementary. He graduated from Warren Central High School in 1969.

Later that year, he began working for AT&T in installation and repair.

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When Rodger’s son, Christopher, was very young, it was discovered that he had profound hearing loss.

Knowing that Christopher would benefit from special education not available then in Vicksburg, Rodger moved his family, first to Nashville in 1974, then to St. Louis in 1978 to enroll Christopher in St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf.

Rodger continued to work for the phone company in construction and eventually in management after completing a bachelor’s degree in business at National College of Education.

After a 30-year career at AT&T and Southwestern Bell, Rodger retired in 1999.

He continued to do contract work for the phone company while playing in golf leagues with his former work colleagues.

During all the years he lived away from Vicksburg, he made regular trips back to visit with friends and family.

After his son died in 2020, Rodger returned to Vicksburg to live close to his brothers and mother.

He was so grateful to reconnect with extended family and friends from his years growing up in Vicksburg.

Rodger was a terrific joke-teller. He had a great memory for jokes and stories and could pull out just the right one for an occasion. He loved a good game of pool and fast cars.

He came of age in the muscle-car era and he marked the phases of his life by which car he was driving at the time.

Just recently on Facebook, he shared that his last muscle car was the fastest, a Buick Grand National that he drove in the 1980s.

Rodger is survived by his niece, Stephanie Rowland Patrick; nephews, Donald Rowland, Shane Rowland and Taylor Rowland; great nieces and nephews; numerous Rowland and Anderton cousins and good friend and former spouse, Jeanne Randall Olson.

Predeceasing Rodger were his son, Christopher Anderton Rowland; parents, Sidney Russell Rowland Sr. and Mary Sue Anderton Rowlett; stepfather, Dr. George Samuel Rowlett; and brothers, Sidney Russell Rowland Jr., Donald Winston Rowland and Timothy William Rowland.

A graveside service, followed by a reception for friends and family, will be held on a date to be determined.

Gifts in Rodger’s memory to St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf are welcome: or St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, 1314 Strassner Drive, Brentwood, MO 63144.