Michael T. “Mike” Rodgers
A well-known figure in the Beaumont community, Michael T. (Mike) Rodgers, 75, passed away late Monday, August 14, 2023, at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas – St. Elizabeth, Beaumont, following a brief illness. He was born January 6, 1948, in Ashland, Ohio, To Mary Hayes Rodgers and Thomas Rodgers.
A native of Ashland, Ohio, and graduate of Ashland College and Michigan State University, Mike’s early professional career as a television news anchor eventually brought him to Beaumont in 1982 as a member of the Gulf States Utilities, Inc. video production department. He remained with the company through its transition to Entergy and retired in 2016 as Entergy Texas, Inc.’s employee communicator.
Mike’s broadcaster voice, quick wit and dry sense of humor was part and parcel of his personality and endearing to those who knew him best, along with his love of history and the Beatles. It was, however, his many community involvements that made him a friend of many and known by many more.
Mike’s most familiar role, and certainly a favorite of his, involved serving as emcee for 6 Challenge – a high school game show program that ran on KFDM-TV, channel 6 for nearly 30 years, with Mike filling the emcee post for all but the first year it aired. His involvement with area media ranged wider than merely as an emcee for 6 Challenge. Mike was also a longtime member of the Press Club of Southeast Texas and over many years was active in the club and ably served as moderator of political debates and candidate panels put on by the club during election seasons.
Mike was also deeply involved with the Beaumont Community Players and was a familiar stage presence, as well as a backstage helper and indefatigable supporter of all things BCP. Mike was also an enthusiastic bicyclist, better known as “Mike on a Bike”, who enjoyed his lengthy Saturday rides with different groups of Beaumont cyclists.
Perhaps his most personal point of connection with the community involved his church—First Christian Church of Beaumont. He and his wife, Lynn, served in several positions, including as elders and board members. They were present and accounted for at church activities, including one of the church’s primary focuses, financial and hands-on support for Some Other Place.
Mike is survived by his wife, Lynn Rodgers; daughter, Jennifer Rodgers of Beaumont; sister, Christine Rodgers Crissinger of Ohio; sister-in-law, Marcia Klepper-Smith and her husband, Don, of South Carolina; nieces, Lee Chometa of Connecticut, and Dana Kleppa-Smith of Switzerland; and numerous thespians, work colleagues, cycling enthusiasts, church family, and friends through the years.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Mr. Rodgers’ cremation arrangements were handled through Broussard’s Crematorium, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions can be made to Some Other Place, P.O. Box 0843, Beaumont, Texas 77704 or First Christian Church, 5290 North Caldwood Drive, Beaumont, Texas 77707.