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Raymond Rodgers
A funeral service was held Friday at Hughson United Methodist Church for Raymond Merle Rodgers, 85, of Hughson on his birthday, Dec. 29, 2007.

Allen Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

Born Dec. 29, 1929, Mr. Rodgers grew up on a family farm in Iowa and remembered during the Great Depression they survived one long winter with only popcorn and chicken to eat. His high school agriculture teacher nominated him for a Sears Scholarship which enabled him to attend Iowa State College. His education was interrupted when he enlisted in the military and became a pilot in the Army Air Force during World War II. Mr. Rodgers flew cargo over "the hump" between India and China and had many interesting, dramatic, exciting and harrowing stories to tell his grandchildren in his later years, including flying one of the last C47s out of China before the Communist take-over.

After the war he returned to Iowa State and earned a bachelor's degree, then followed his future wife Margaret to California where he taught at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, then at Red Bluff High School. In 1958 Ray purchased a homestead a farm in the Columbia River basin in Washington. He uprooted his family and moved, but in a few years returned to California. He was recruited by the Modesto Junior College Agriculture Department where he taught dairy and economics for 20 years. He had a business making feed from the waste chocolate at the Hershey's plant. He helped to establish the Modesto Certified Farmers' Market on 17th Street.

After retiring from teaching, Ray farmed walnuts and almonds in Hughson, and became a financial planner. He served as financial advisor for the Board of Creative Alternatives of Turlock and held many positions for the Centenary and Hughson United Methodist churches.

Remembrances may be sent to Community Hospice Foundation, Modesto Junior College ag Foundation, or Hughson United Methodist Church.

-Ceres (Calif.) Courier /January 9, 2008