(June 22, 2007)
James O. Rodgers of Twin Falls, Idaho, died unexpectedly at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho, Friday, June 22. He was 50.
His family and close friends lovingly surrounded him until the end.
He was born June 3, 1957, in Great Falls, Mont., youngest of six children of Orville Roy and Vera Louise (Anderson) Rodgers. He grew up and attended schools in Miles City, Mont., and graduated from high school in Livingston, Mont. He started working for Burlington Northern Railroad as a journeyman electrician on diesel-electric locomotives, spending much of his free time serving as a volunteer fireman for the Park County, Mont., Fire Department and a part-time EMT with the ambulance service in Livingston.
He married Marlene Rae Borcher of Powell on April 16, 1983, in Powell. They moved to Livingston where he began a lifetime of learning at Montana State University in Bozeman, while working as a full-time firefighter for the City of Livingston.
He developed an interest in emergency medical services at an early age, becoming one of the youngest basic EMTs certified in Montana at the age of 17. It was his passion and his calling to care for people, which prompted him to further his education, graduating magna cum laude from Davenport University in Grand Rapid, Mich., with an associate’s degree as a paramedic, with a focus in emergency medical systems management. He worked as a paramedic for 16 years in Wyoming, Montana, Washington and Idaho.
Jim decided he wanted to do more for his patients, and in 2004 he graduated with his registered nursing degree from the nursing program at the College of Southern Idaho. It was while attending school he started working “the best job in the world” as a Life Flight Paramedic for Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello. Upon graduating, he continued working as a flight nurse for Portneuf Life Flight and was the most excited when the call for assistance took him to Yellowstone National Park. He loved seeing the land that he loved so much from the windows of the helicopter, taking aerial photographs whenever the opportunity was available.
He still found time to enjoy his family and pursue his favorite past-time of camping, boating and fly-fishing. His greatest love was sharing time with his children in Yellowstone Park and boating with them on the lake. Fly-fishing was one of his pleasures, and he would take the time to go to various area in Idaho and Montana to find the perfect fishing spot.
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Marlene; sons, Bradley Rodgers of Twin Falls, Joshua (Adria) Rodgers of Livingston, Mont.; daughters, Jamie Ryals, Twin Falls, Kylie Rodgers and Kelsey Rodgers of the family home; brother, Dave Rodgers, Smithfield, Utah; sister, Pearl, Laurel, Mont; his in-laws, Merlin and Elaine Borcher of Powell; and one granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents and older sister, Joann.
Memorial services took place in Pocatello June 27 and in Twin Falls June 30. Attending services from Powell were Merlin and Elaine Borcher, Mike and Jaclyn Borcher and Dusty.