Ben Rogers, 23, of Laguna Beach, Calif., died peacefully in the early morning hours of December 13. He and his sister, Lily, were born in Newtown, one frozen winter night, January 27, 1994, to Katie and Jim Rogers. They later moved from their Main Street home in Newtown to Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., and then Laguna Beach.
Ben is remembered as the light of his family’s lives, full of a deep kindness towards all, a generous spirit, and a light-hearted presence. Many have shared with the family how Ben would encourage them, and how much he was looking forward to the future. He touched many.
Ben grew up attending the Presbyterian preschool, Top of the World Elementary, Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School. He was an Indian Guide, a Scout, played soccer, but most of all, loved playing basketball at the Boys and Girls Club and anywhere, really. His first job was delivering the Laguna Beach Independent in the Mystic Hills neighborhood. He studied Kempo Karate for eight years and also competed at the county level in track and field in the hurdles.
He attended the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad and was able to march in the National Memorial Day parade in Washington, DC, in 2011, playing the snare drum. He attended the University of Arizona, and was planning to finish up at Cal State San Marcos in the fall.
His parents; his twin Lily; his brother Will; his stepsister Sara; an aunt and uncle and cousins from Newtown; and also his beloved dogs survive Ben.
A memorial service is planned at St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Laguna Beach on Saturday, December 30, at 10 am. All are welcome to come and remember and celebrate his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the ASPCA, at aspca.org/donate.