April 7, 2020

Mr. Joel Rogers

Mr. Joel Walter Rogers, Mayor of Franklin, teacher, coach, and mentor, age 69, passed away February 23, 2020.

Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday February 26, 2020 at 2:00 PM from the chapel of Stutts Funeral Home with Rev. Ron Capes and Mr. Durell Langley officiating. Interment will follow in Franklin City Cemetery.

The family will accept guests at Stutts Funeral Home Wednesday from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

He was born April 4, 1950 to the late Robert Irvin Rogers and Elizabeth Duke Rogers. He was a member of Franklin United Methodist Church.

He graduated from Heard County High School (Class of 1968). He attended Carroll Tech where he earned a Certificate in Automotive Mechanics in 1969, and was a member of the school’s first graduating class.

He was drafted into the US Army and served his country honorably from 1970 – 1971. He was stationed in Germany with the Service Battery, 2’nd Battalion, 41’st Artillery.

He married the love of his life, the late Pamela Elaine Denney, and found his true calling in 1981 when he accepted a position as the construction teacher at Heard County High School.

Over the years he mentored many students who went on to pursue employment in the construction industry. He was the sponsor of Heard High’s Vocational Industrial Clubs of America chapter for many years.

Another of his passions was sports. He had the pleasure of coaching countless young athletes over the years in football, basketball and golf. The passion he had to see his athletes succeed drove them to become better men and women.

It was his drive to see Heard County Athletics succeed that was instrumental in his nomination to be the High School Athletic Director in 2002.

With the cooperation of the School Board, Joel oversaw the improvement of athletic facilities. A new turf field and visitors stands were installed at Staples Stadium, the gymnasium was expanded to make room for wrestling practice facilities, the baseball field saw many upgrades, and a new softball field and tennis complex were built.

The success on and off of the field for the athletics programs won him the respect of his fellow athletic directors. He was named the Region Athletic Director of the year in 2008 and the AA State Athletic Director of the Year in 2011.

He retired from education in 2013, but he was able to see the fruit of his labor when the girl’s softball team won the AA state championship in 2014, and the football team won the AA state championship in 2018.

After his career in education Joel felt he still needed to serve his community. He had been a city councilman from 2001 until 2013, when he was appointed to serve the remainder of a term as mayor. In November of 2013, he was elected mayor.

In 2017, he ran unopposed for another four-year term. As mayor he oversaw the construction of the new Franklin City Hall.

In gratitude for his years of service to the citizens of Franklin, the city council renamed the council chambers in the new city hall in his honor.

He served as the District Vice President on the Georgia Municipal Association Board of Directors and had the honor of serving on the West Georgia Technical College Board of Directors after having graduated from Carroll Tech many years before.

Among Joel’s other passions were playing golf, Georgia Bulldog Football, and building things. He especially enjoyed making cabinets or anything out of wood.

Survivors include two sons, Jared Rogers of Franklin and Jake Rogers (Lori) of Cartersville; four grandchildren, Andrew Rogers, Bryce Rogers, Kinsley Rogers, and McKenzie Jackson; two brothers, Richard Rogers (Linda) of Centralhatchee and Tracy Rogers (Shirley) of Ephesus; and a number of other relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Pam Rogers, one brother, Robert Rogers, and one sister, Luticia Rogers Walden.

Those who wish may write memorial tributes at www.stuttsfuneralhome.com.

Stutts Funeral Home of Franklin, GA in charge of arrangements.

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