Charles Aven Rodgers, age 84, passed away on June 10, 2019 from complications from Primary Lateral Sclerosis. The Colonel was a 37-year veteran of the Colorado Army National Guard. He is survived by his wife Donna; their four children: Debbie (Michael Lovejoy), Lu Ann (Don Hostetter), Robin (Kevin Schneider) and Chuck (Heidi); 13 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Charles was preceded in death by his parents Emily Jessee and Harold Rodgers, and his brother Raymond Rodgers.
Charles Aven was born and raised in Niwot, Colorado, although he did spend time on the Charley Rodgers family farm north of Memphis.
Charles Aven’sAunt Dorothy and Uncles Junior and Mert owned and operated Rodgers Jewelry on the square in Memphis for decades. He was a frequent visitor to Scotland and Clark Counties over the years.
Charles Aven’ssurviving first cousins from Missouri and Iowa include Karen (Rodgers) and Richard Tuttle of Kahoka, MO, Sherry Rodgers of Gilbert, AZ, Kevin and Becky Rodgers of rural Williamstown, MO, Larry and Zelma Rodgers of Rolla, MO, Jenny (Rodgers) and Cory Stoneburner, Carla (Rodgers) and Nick Harris, and Sarah Rodgers and companion Matt Haugstad, all of Boone, Iowa.
The Memphis family that predeceased Charles Aven arehis grandparents Charley and Beulah (Barr) Rodgers, his uncles William (Junior), Cecil, Bobbie Lee, and his Aunt Kathleen (Rodgers) Johnson.
Back in Niwot and contrary to policy at the time, he joined the Colorado Army National Guard at the young age of 14. This began a life-long commitment to the Armed Forces of our country. After graduating from Longmont High School, he became a lineman apprentice with the Public Service Company of Colorado in August 1953, and he worked for Watts Hardy Dairy driving the delivery truck and married his high school sweetheart, Donna Jean Cito, that November.
For the next several decades, Charles climbed the ranks of both the Colorado Army National Guard and the Public Service Company of Colorado. In the National Guard, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1957, and then promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1960, Captain in 1964, Major in 1972, Lt. Colonel in 1978, and finally Colonel in 1985. He was simultaneously advancing his career as a lineman, ultimately being promoted to Director of Labor Relations in 1987. Charles credited his advancement in both organizations to his work ethic, dependability, and a steadfast commitment to continue learning throughout his life.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, Charles was the President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 1436, was the President of the Boulder County Labor Council, and one of several Vice Presidents on the Colorado Labor Council. As he has always been, Charles was devoted to a life of service: working diligently to improve the livelihood of his peers, friends, and colleagues.
Charles retired from the Army National Guard in 1987 and from the Public Service Company of Colorado in 1992, with 37 and 38 years of service, respectively. He retired from the Public Service Company of Colorado in March 1992. He was such a devoted employee that his boss cried as Charles retired. After retirement, Charles remained committed to his church, volunteered with Meals on Wheels, and was a member of the Boulder Elks Lodge #566. He was also a lifelong member of the Admiral Arleigh Burke Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Charles held several leadership roles in this organization, including President of his local chapter in 2004 and 2005.
Charles will be remembered as a man who understood commitment, put God, country, and his family first, and could always be relied on for a helping hand and a good conversation. He will be missed by all who knew him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be June 20, 2019 at 10:30 am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Lafayette CO, with reception to follow. Burial will be at Foothills Memorial Garden, Longmont, CO at 2:00 p.m. Ahlberg Funeral Chapel in Longmont, CO was entrusted with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to TRU Hospice Services of Boulder County, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Lafayette building fund, or Meals on Wheels of Longmont or Boulder County.