Sports Editor, Quorum Court Member Dies Friday

Thursday, February 5, 2015
Ryan Rogers

Ryan Rogers, 35, of Greenway, a reporter and sports editor for the Clay County Times-Democrat and also a member of the Clay County Quorum Court, died Friday, June 30.

Rogers served 11 years on the newspaper staff, covering news and sports events throughout the area while earning a reputation for the quality of his writing and also his personal kindness and goodwill.

"We knew when we hired Ryan that he had a strong gift for writing and that he would do a good job," T-D publisher Ron Kemp said. "That turned out to be correct, but we did not fully anticipate the positive impact he would have on our readers, advertisers and friends throughout the community.

"The degree to which that was true has been shown in the overwhelming number of comments we have received in the past few days concerning the way he treated everyone, and we do mean everyone, with such kindness and respect. That is a tribute to him and the consistent way he lived and related to people.

"The combination of his professional and talented efforts as a journalist and his sincere and dedicated role as an ambassador for the newspaper cannot be replaced," Kemp said.

Rogers was a 1997 graduate of Clay County Central High School in Rector and was a member of the baseball team. He developed a love of sports at an early age and used that to his advantage later as sports editor of this newspaper.

He was known as a writer who accurately and vividly captured the sporting events of the area, but also personally supported and encouraged the players he covered. He also drew the praise of the coaches he worked with for his understanding of the challenges they face in their profession.

Rector High School boys coach Matt Mills and girls coach Matt Dean said Rogers was realistic about games and their outcome, but always could find a "silver lining" to encourage them even in the face of occasional difficult defeats. "He could always find something positive to say to us," Mills said. "He was great to work with and we will miss him very much."

The entire RHS basketball team showed their appreciation for his loyalty by attending Rogers' visitation Monday night. They also will wear patches in his honor on their uniforms for the remainder of the season.

RHS football coach David Hendrix coached Rogers in high school baseball. His football teams at both Rector and Piggott were covered by Rogers for the newspaper.

"Ryan just had a way of making everyone around him a better person," said Hendrix, who spoke at the funeral service on Tuesday.

"There were several times in which I was dejected at the end of a game and Ryan always found a way to put a positive spin on everything," the coach said.

"I started out years ago trying to make a positive impact on Ryan and he ended up definitely making a positive impact on me. He was just a great person."

Rogers throughout his life had a great love for his native Greenway and all of Clay County. He made the decision to run for the Quorum Court and served in that capacity up until his death. He took his responsibility very seriously and was a respected voice in county government.

"He was a good JP," said Clay County Judge Gary Howell. "He was sharp and we valued his opinion.

"I'll always remember he had a great sense of humor and was never negative. He had such a good outlook on life and really cared about taking care of the people of Clay County."

Visitation for Rogers was held Monday night at Irby Funeral Home in Rector and the funeral service was held Tuesday afternoon. Burial was in Mitchell Cemetery at Greenway.

The complete obituary may be found in that section of this website.

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