Many Jeffersonians Pay Warm Tribute to Joseph F. Rodgers, MD
Dozens of Jeffersonians joined family and friends to fill, to standing-room-only, St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Gladwyne for the Funeral Mass for Joseph F. Rodgers, MD, who died of cancer January 23.
A member of the faculty of Jefferson Medical College (JMC) since 1962, and a 1957 JMC graduate, Dr. Rodgers was Associate Dean, Residency and Affiliated Hospital Programs, JMC, at the time of his death. He was also Clinical Professor of Medicine.
We gather here today to mourn, love and celebrate the life of Joe Rodgers, as a doctor, father, husband, friend, uncle, grandfather and teacher, said Timothy P. Brigham, PhD, who as Assistant Dean, Graduate and Continuing Medical Education, JMC, worked closely with Dr. Rodgers. His was an extraordinary life . . . full of gentleness, kindness, strength and love, said Dr. Brigham.
His comments to the gathering preceded the Mass celebrated by Edward C. Bradley, SJ, MD. Father Bradley is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Special Counselor, JMC, and had known Dr. Rodgers since 1960 when we were both residents.
Father Bradley said, During one of his recent hospitalizations I asked Joe if there was anything I could do for him a searching question. He looked at me and said, Pray! In that one word is contained belief, hope, a disposition toward our Maker, our companion in the journey of life and our destiny. So we pray! We pray for Joe, our brother in Christ, and commend him to the mercy of God.
Dr. Brigham spoke on behalf of the Rodgers family who thanked all Jeffersonians for their warm collegial support and friendship with Dr. Rodgers during his career, and especially during the time of his illness.
Dr. Rodgers is survived by his wife of 42 years, Adrienne Marasco Rodgers and four children: Pamela, Donna R. Arronson, James and David, as well as two sisters and a brother.
Following the Mass, two of Dr. Rodgers children, Pamela and James, spoke emotional tributes to their father.
Pamela Rodgers may have spoken for many Jeffersonians when she said, Throughout his career the word and sentiment most used to describe our father was kind. He had a positive and calming influence on those he met. He always knew what to say to dissolve your fears and focus your energies.
As a professional, our father could not be defined by titles. Indeed he was one of those rare individuals who helped define a profession.
James Rodgers told the gathering that while their father set very high professional and personal standards of behavior, he did not lecture or preach to us. Instead, he taught by example.
Nor did he push his children in any particular direction of activities or later career choices, and asked only two questions about what they did: Did you do your best and did you have a good time? How you did something was always more important than what, James said.
In turning toward Dr. Rodgers 11 grandchildren seated in the church pews, and summing up his fathers special qualities as a person and parent, James closed by observing, Sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, this is how our father lived. These are the things he taught us. These are the things we will teach you.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Deans Office JMC, 1025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
Jeffersonians note with deep sadness the death on February 18, of Lauren Albert, the beloved wife of Todd J. Albert, MD, and the administrator of the Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. We extend sympathy to Todd J. Albert, MD, her husband, and to her family.
Contributions may be made to the Lauren Albert Family Fund, in care of the Development Office, Thomas Jefferson University, Suite 110, 925 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.