"Up Close and Personal" about Ric Rogers

Board of Trustees President Ric Rogers 

Unity of South Sound has a familiar face that you may recognize. Ric Rogers began as a Board Member in 2016 and has served as an usher, a regular maintenance assistant, and has helped to build the ADA bathroom at the Spire.

Ric was born on November 30, 1941, Richard Doyle Coker at Swedish Hospital in Seattle to Hazel Marie Kelly and Olin Coker. When Ric was a baby, his parents divorced. His mother went on to marry Irwin W. Rogers who adopted Ric. He soon had a brother named Michael.

Ric grew up just outside of Seattle until the end of WWII in 1945 when Captain Irwin W. Rogers moved his family to Japan. Unfortunately, Hazel and Irwin’s marriage was at an end.  Hazel soon set sail for the United States with her two boys in tow.

Back in the Seattle area, Ric attended Crown Hill Elementary School in NW Seattle. The family then moved to Vashon Island in 1950.  Ric later graduated from Queen Anne High School and moved out of his mother’s home at age 18 to go to Everett Jr College until he joined the U. S. Air Force in 1961.

From 1961 to 1965, Ric’s service in the Air Force took him to the rank of Airman First Class E4 at Condon AFB in Oregon.  He was trained in electronics and worked in radar maintenance. After his service, he became an electrician by trade and learned marine electrical while working for Lockheed Shipyard Construction Company in Seattle with fiber optics.

Ric was married in 1969, and again in 1990.  1998 may have been a pivotal year for Ric when he went to work in Alaska. 

By 1999, he was looking for a career change when his lifelong friend and confidant, Alma Jean Marion, referred him to a career counselor by the name of Ruth Dow. As they say in the vernacular, “The rest is history!”  Not only was he introduced to his “3rd time charm,” this was also his introduction to Unity Church.

A student of Transcendental Meditation in the ‘70’s, Ric questioned traditional Christianity.  “Why would a good Buddhist be excluded from heaven?” he thought.  Believing in his heart of hearts in life after death and in reincarnation, he describes the moment he “found” Unity as the moment he was “Home”.

Both with previous marriages, Ruth had her list of attributes that she would like in a man; Ric hit them all. Ric admits that he is not the same person now as he was when he met Ruth.  He describes his relationship, like most, with their ups and downs, but they are committed to each other to make it work using trusted spiritual tools.

Ric’s father had another son, Randy, and 3 daughters: Lois Ann, Jane and Susan. Ric has recently discovered this extended family and deeply enjoys their new presence in his life.  Ric and Ruth have 2 daughters, Rose and Sarah, by marriage.

When asked what tangible item (other than a person) has the most meaning for him; he said that it’s probably his Japanese burl table, a family heirloom from 1947, and a source of many memories.

Ric has been described as honest, humble, open to others and generous. As a Board Member, he became aware that he wanted to increase his service to this church. As a result, Ric became Board President which has resulted in great rewards for him.

Ric’s favorite quote ~ “I don’t care who leads me, as long as you take me where I want to go!”

Authored by Annie Lane, Unity Member