Waynor Rogers
Waynor Rogers

Obituary of Waynor Francis Rogers


Waynor died on May 24th at his home in Tucson at age 81 from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Waynor was born in Brown, West Virginia, where his father had been a coal miner. The family moved to Columbus Ohio to seek work after his father became debilitated from Multiple Sclerosis. While attending Central High School, Waynor worked nights stocking shelves at the Big Bear grocery to help support the family.

In 1960, at age 17, he enlisted in the U S Marine Corps. He served as a helicopter mechanic until receiving an appointment to flight school in 1963. His 20-year career included three tours of active duty in Vietnam where he flew H-34/H-53 helicopters and A-4 attack jets on a total of 715 combat missions spanning 4,000 flight hours and ending with the evacuation of Saigon. Waynor was the recipient of numerous medals and commendations including 40 Strike Flight Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Presidential Unit Citation. He retired as a squadron commander in 1980 with the rank of Major.

The following year, Waynor completed his MBA in Real Estate and launched a career in banking and real estate development in San Diego. His work managing and selling R.E.O. properties during the 1980s Savings and Loan crisis led him to Tucson where he discovered a prime market opportunity. In 1991, he formed his own company and began buying, rehabbing, and renting single family homes.

In 1994, Waynor met his future wife, Laurie (Petrie), with whom he shared a deep interest in Japanese art and history. He especially enjoyed collecting and lecturing on Japanese cloisonne. Over the years, he donated many pieces to the Phoenix Art Museum, where they were recently exhibited. Waynor also had an avid interest in economics, the stock market, and military history. He worked out at the local gym daily until Covid closed his gym and ALS began affecting him. Waynor never complained during the two years that ALS slowly ravaged his body. He had not expected to live through the Vietnam War and treated every day he was alive as a gift.

Waynor was preceded in death by his sister Vivian Oakley. He is survived by Laurie, son Michael (Kathrin), three grandchildren, Manton, Eva, and Ann-Kathrin, and his rescue dog Peaches. Interment will be in the fall at the Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery at Marana.

In honor of Waynor’s memory, please consider contributing to The ALS Organization Phoenix Chapter, Paralyzed Veterans of America Arizona Chapter, or Habitat for Humanity Tucson.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Waynor
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Adair Funeral Homes - Avalon Chapel
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