Bright, Rodger

Written by David Green.

Rodger Thomas Bright, 71, of Clayton,  Mich., died at his home May 31, 2011, with his family at his side.

He was born July 20, 1939, to Dewey and Geraldine (Underhill) Bright. Rodger married Mary Maiers on May 23, 1986, in Hillsdale and she survives.

He spent his life in Clayton and Hudson, Mich.,  and attended Clayton and Hudson schools. Rodger was a member of the Morenci American Legion and Morenci Eagles Lodge. He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969. He retired from SKD in Jonesville, Mich., in 2008.

Rodger enjoyed keeping up his yard, putting in a garden and watching it grow, keeping his tractors polished and spending time with family and friends.

In addition to his wife, Rodger is survived by two daughters, Sondra (and Ruben) Villegas of Adrian, Mich., and Stacey (and Todd) Kingsley of Hudson; two sons, Ricky (and Linda) Burlew and Joseph (and Brenda) Burlew, all of Hudson; grandchildren, Nathan, Duston, Shelby, Tristan, Raelyn, Zachary, Alexis, Hailie, David and Jared and great-granddaughter, Jayla.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral Services are planned at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home in Hudson, with Dr. Samuel E. Wickard officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Morenci.  Military honors will be conducted by the Morenci American Legion. Visitation is scheduled from 6  to 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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