Lawrence R. (Ralph) Rogers, 79, passed away peacefully on January 30, 2024, in Menard, Texas.
Lawrence was born in San Antonio to Walter and Helen (Bush) Rogers on August 13, 1944.
He attended school in Devine and graduated in 1962. He was an accomplished athlete and was known for his quickness and speed which would earn him a basketball scholarship to Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas.
He met the love of his life, Norma Jean, when her family moved from San Antonio to Devine in the summer of 1961. They would meet on the first day of school and continue dating after their graduation and throughout their college years. They were married on February 7, 1965, when they eloped to Acuna, Mexico much to the dismay of their parents. In true cowboy fashion, he brought her right back to San Antonio after their elopement to attend the San Antonio Rodeo.
The United States activated the draft for the Vietnam War in 1964 while he was still enrolled in college, so he made the decision to leave college and volunteer for the Army. He entered his service February 26, 1965.
After various duty stations here in the states, he would eventually deploy to Vietnam where he would serve as a Morse Code Interceptor, “ditty-bopper,” under the Army Security Services.
After completing his service, he returned to Texas and accepted the ranch foreman job at the Kincaid Ranch in Eagle Pass. He would spend the next several years ranching and custom farming hay and a family favorite, watermelon.
In 1976 he took a job in the oilfield and he would never look back. It would change the trajectory of his life. He started from the ground up pumping wells and he would quickly, and often, be promoted.
As industry in Texas tends to do, Lawrence’s love of the oilfield and ranching collided and he was able to leave the field and manage the ranching division of an oil company. This would be where his love of Brahman cattle would begin. During this time, he was fortunate to meet and develop long lasting relationships with some of the most influential foundation breeders in the Brahman cattle business. He forged a special friendship with Emily Dial of the 3X Ranch which would lead to his kids being the first junior exhibitors to haul and show the renowned 3X cattle.
After the sudden passing of his father in 1979, he moved his family back home to Devine to help his mother with their family ranch and he returned to the oilfield quickly making his way up to an executive. He was now Vice President of Luling Oil & Gas of San Antonio.
Having an executive position gave him more flexibility and time at home, rather than in the field, so what better way to spend it than to sign your kids up for 4-H and start filling the barns—literally— with his prized herd of registered Brahman cattle. and then he decided his kids should show market lambs and eventually market steers as well … all at the same time.
It has often been said Lawrence was born with a rope in one hand and a feed bucket in the other. If he didn’t know something, he found someone who did… and learned everything he could from them.
He loved the people he met in Menard, and the countryside. He dreamed of retiring there one day. As luck would have it, the oil company he worked for had gas wells in nearby Ft. McKavett, so in the 90s he found himself living in Menard.
In 1999, after decades of ranching and working in the oilfield, he retired from Chesapeake Operating and moved to Menard. Larence purchased Menard Water Well, now known as Rafter R Water Well Service, and he and his son embarked on a partnership. He never hesitated as “down hole, is down hole.” It was a perfect fit until the patch came calling him back; he unretired and went back to work.
Throughout the years in the oilfield, he worked across Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. He spent the last of his working years in Fort Stockton, which was ideal and close to home in Menard.
He and his son founded Rafter R Quarter Horses which took up much of his time off work and fulfilled a dream of raising horses. Nothing made him prouder than seeing his grandkids in the roping pen on Rafter R horses.
Lawrence retired for the last time in 2014 from Sandridge Operating. He was fortunate to live near all his grandkids, who affectionately referred to him as Pop, and he spent countless hours with them in the arena, sheep pen and horse barn.
He was an avid golfer. He enjoyed hunting, boating, and fishing trips to Rough Canyon. A beach trip to Port Aransas was always a good idea but his favorite was always a good ol’ team roping.
Having been raised in a farming and ranching family, it was only natural for Lawrence to spend much of his time horseback with a rope in his hand. So much so that he would eventually gain his RCA (now PRCA) card in tie-down calf roping. His talent and passion for roping is a legacy that lives on proudly through his son and grandsons.
Lawrence is predeceased by his parents, Walter and Helen; brother-in-law Mike Carr; and “brother & sister” Odie & Hedy Wright.
Survivors include a large circle of family and “family” – his wife, Norma; daughter Kellie Jopling and husband Bobby; daughter Sally Hough and husband Bruce; son Larry and wife Lori.
Grandchildren, Kate Henicke and husband Clayton, their children Hendrix and Ryatt; Ty Titzman, Logan Rogers, and Layne Rogers; son-in-law Greg Titzman and wife Libby and son Brayden; “honorary daughter” Jessica Rayburn and husband Dwaine and son Kade; bonus grandchildren Tyler Jopling and wife Natalie, Asa Hough, Pake Hough and Jessup Hough.
Brother Kenneth Rogers and wife Cindy; sister-in-law Wendy Carr Maxwell and husband Bo; brother-in-law Bill Carr and wife Cindy; the extended “Wright” family along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, family, friends, and horses.
A celebration of his life, “LR’s Last Rodeo,” will be held Saturday, March 9, at 2:00 p.m. at the Menard Country Club, Menard, Texas.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Hospice of San Angelo (HOSA), Bobbi Heyman-Compton, Cheryle Spoons, the nurses, and nurses’ aides of Menard Manor for their loving care and compassion.
And to his Lori Darlin’ – there are no words to express how grateful we are for EVERYTHING. Your loving care, compassion, patience, knowledge, and guidance, not only to him, but for the entire family during this past year. We are eternally grateful that God blessed our family with you.