James F. "Jim" Rogers, an advocate for the city of Dallas who contributed countless hours to local organizations, died on February 15, after battling cancer. He was 73.
Rogers was a graduate of Baylor University who attended the University of Texas School of Law. He worked as a CPA before founding Ameripro Industries, which sold electronic parts, some of which were his own inventions. He also rehabbed buildings, bought and sold property, and consulted in exporting products to Japan.
Rogers was known as an ardent and inspirational activist, fueled by a desire to make communities better and resolve issues, particularly for those less able to advocate for themselves. That included running for Dallas City Council for the District 14 seat in 2013.
Over the years, he was active in Clean East Dallas, Citizens Coalition for Planning, Citizens for Responsible Growth, Love Field Citizens Action Committee, Brother Bill's Helping Hand, Bryan Place Neighborhood Association, Deep Ellum Urban Garden, the Dallas Zoning Advisory Committee, Urban Rehabilitation Standards Board, and most recently the Deep Ellum Community Association, where he served as president.
He was a long-time member of Park Cities Baptist Church and taught a Single Adult Sunday School class.
Those who worked with him could attest to his willingness to dig in and get his hands dirty. When the Deep Ellum Urban Garden was first built, Rogers was right there helping cut cedar for the raised beds.
Rogers was born on June 9, 1947, in Big Spring, and was heavily influenced by his two older brothers, especially his middle brother, Morris, who taught Jim how to ride a bike and swim and was often a surrogate dad since their father worked for the T&P railroad and was frequently out of town.
One source of pride was his acquisition and conversion of the iconic Pearlstone Mill & Elevator Company property in Deep Ellum. The Pearlstone site was a functioning grain elevator and mill from the early 20th century until the 1950s. According to his wife Margaret Wright Rogers, he loved working and gardening on the property and considered Pearlstone his sanctuary.
An avid gardener, he grew hundreds of pounds of blackberries and peaches.
Rogers is survived by his wife; his nephew Jim Rogers and wife Nanciann; and many friends.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Deep Ellum Community Association. Make checks payable to the Deep Ellum Foundation, add "DECA-Jim Rogers" on the memo line, and mail to the Deep Ellum Foundation, P. O. Box 710596, Dallas, TX 75371.