Thomas M. Rogers (Tom), 75, Hannawa Falls


HANNAWA FALLS -- Thomas M. Rogers (Tom) passed away on June 18th, 2024, in Rochester, New York at age 75.

Tom was born on February 26th, 1949, in Massena, New York. He was the middle son to William and Ella (Mickey) Rogers (nee Michaelis).

He is preceded in death by his father, mother, and younger brother, John Rogers.

Growing up in Hannawa Falls, New York, Tom had an active and spirited childhood swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, skiing, playing hockey and soccer, and in general ‘raising hell’ in the North Country.

After graduating high school, Tom moved to Chicago where he earned an associates degree in electrical engineering at Devry and married Denise Rogers (nee Morgan) of Streator, IL.

After serving in the Navy, he called the Chicago area home from 1968 until 2010.

Tom had three daughters, Lisa, Kimberly, and Jessica Rogers, and began a successful construction company in Elgin, IL.

Pursuing his childhood love of airplanes, Tom became a pilot in his twenties and continued flying into his seventies; he was still working on an ultralight when he passed.

Anyone who knew Tom, could not help but be impressed with his ability to build anything, including four self-built airplanes and innovative homes; he was particularly proud of an ‘underground’ house he built in Plato Center, IL in the late 1980s which used the earth and an indoor pool for heating and cooling.

As his love of self-build planes grew, his home at The Landings in Huntley, IL became a hub for his work on a BD-5, two Lanceairs, and an RV-7, but it is likely best remembered by his friends as a place where Tom welcomed them with a cup of coffee, technical expertise, and a zest for shooting the breeze.

Tom’s wiley sense of humor, intelligence, sense of adventure, and the kind heart he tried to hide with a gruff exterior made him a dear friend to so many.

In 2010, he moved back to Hannawa Falls, NY as the owner and operator of a mobile home park and quickly became both beloved and notorious for his unconventional management and open door.

He pursued his love of classic cars and painstakingly restored a Plymouth Duster and finally acquired the 1964 Corvette he always wanted.

He loved getting his morning coffee in Potsdam and treasured driving the North Country for ice cream with his childhood friend, Al Scheyer.

His was truly a life well-lived; one which inspires those who knew him to embrace challenges, seek out joy in every possible corner, and to love the people in our lives deeply.

The loss of his laughter, advice, and incredible stories is immense, but anyone who knew Tom knows he would want them to live the fullest life possible.

Arrangements are with the Garner Funeral Service.

A private service was held at the funeral home on June 21st.

Condolences for the Rogers family can be shared  at www.garnerfh.com.