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.cross
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  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • 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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