Remembering Jeff Rogers

By KARI BORGEN, Baker City Herald December 23, 2008 06:25 pm

If you read the obituaries in Friday’s Baker City Herald you will know that Jeff Rogers died last Tuesday.  You might also have noted that he delivered newspapers for the Baker City Herald.

What you might not have known, unless you knew Jeff, was that he was a special kind of guy — the sort you just don’t come across often anymore.

For as long as I’ve known him, Jeff had battled kidney disease and its complications. Most people would accept that having a chronic disease, and the frequent dialysis and doctors appointments that accompanied it, would end working at any job.

But Jeff was not most people.

Every day, Monday through Friday, he delivered newspapers to his 76 customers — by bicycle. He took great pride in his customer service — he put the papers where his subscribers wanted them, collected his routes on time every month and became friends with those who lived along the route.  When he would see papers pile up at a home that hadn’t called in a vacation hold, he’d often check to be sure that the occupants were OK — he was genuinely concerned for the people on his routes. 

Jeff would often stop by my office when he came to the newspaper. I’d look up to see him coming through the door with a “Hey, boss.” The last time he was in we talked about a customer Jeff was concerned about whose eyesight wasn’t sharp enough anymore to read the newspaper. Jeff  left with a magnifying sheet to take to the man along with his newspaper delivery that afternoon.

Jeff never did quit — not on himself or his work, nor did he quit caring for anyone else despite his own challenges.  He was our daily example of living life with fortitude and purpose. 

And we will miss him.

Kari Borgen is publisher of the Baker City Herald.