Robert “Bob” Rogan entered eternal rest on Friday, October 16, 2020. His spirit is carried on by his six sons, four daughter in-laws and nine grandchildren. His viewing will be held on Friday, October 23, from 4-8 pm at the Bradley-Braviak Funeral Home, 49 Whippany Rd, Whippany, NJ 07981. A burial with his close family will be held on Saturday afternoon, October 24, at The Cemetery of the Holy Rood, 111 Old Country Rd, Westbury, NY 11590. Arrival time should be between 11 am – 11:30 am.
Those that knew and loved Robert affectionately called him Bob or Dad, and he was truly a man ahead of his time. Bob was the second child of John and Rose Rogan and was born in Rockville Center, Long Island, on Sunday, August 1, 1937. Shortly thereafter his family moved to Manhasset, NY where he and his loving brother Marshall spent their formidable years until they left for college. Bob attended Plandome Road Grade School followed by Manhasset High school where he developed his life long love of athletics. He played both football and basketball but really honed his basketball skills above all others. Bob’s athletic ability combined with his dry wit and intellect landed him at spot in the class of 1960 at Lehigh University in Pa.
Bob became a bit of a renaissance man while attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He studied the arts and sciences, philosophy and psychology, and despite being legally blind in one eye and having no depth perception, he played varsity basketball for three years. It was on the basketball court where he earned the nickname “Dead Eye”. In 1958, Bob led his team, with 21 points, to an upset victory over Temple University, snapping Temple’s 24-game winning streak; afterwards newspapers quickly picked up the story and dubbed him “Dead Eye” for both his outstanding shooting skills and l ack of sight. Bob was a gentle, unassuming leader who could sway influence using his novel brand of humor, compassion and emotional IQ that has only recently become an expected trait of our leaders. His compassionate leadership was apparent to all but really came into focus once he became President of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and proceeded to ban freshmen hazing, something unheard of in the 1950s. Bob graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor’s in the arts and sciences with a concentration in engineering. After college, Bob used his engineering background to pursue a career in the burgeoning field of computer sciences. His first major role was at General Electric where he was part of a team that helped usher in the modern era of Time Sharing Operating systems. During his professional career he had numerous accomplishments but because of his unassuming-modest nature, outside of work colleagues, only those closest to him knew about them. Bob received several commendations for his vital work at Bell Labs and in the era of analog and tones switches, he developed switching software that was responsible for the efficient communication used to run traditional copper fed telephone lines across every home in the nation. Odds are if you remember using a l and-line telephone, you were using software developed by Bob; Rogan’s Compiler (RC) and U.S. Shell were two of the most recognized software packages of their time and widely used across all telecommunication companies in the United States.
Aside from his dedicated work ethic, Bob was a truly selfless family man. He lived and breathed for his six boys as anyone who knew him would tell you. He lifted each one of his boys up out of dire circumstances earlier in their lives and built a remarkably strong and enduring family as a result. Bob became the hero of the family, doing everything to make the household comfortable. He did not have expensive clothes, cars or tastes but instead spent his money on his children’s wellbeing and education.
Bob held his family and friends in the highest esteem, even to his own detriment . If you were lucky enough to call Bob your friend then he would afford you chance after chance and always go to bat for you. This was evident in the lifelong friendships he made with those he crossed paths with. It made no difference if you were a mechanic, a neighbor, a contractor or just the guy who worked the counter at McDonalds, you mattered to Bob. Such is the case with Bunny, perhaps the worst mechanic in the United States. Bunny owned a garage in Hanover, NJ, and employed several competent mechanics but you always knew when Bunny worked on your vehicle because something would invariably go wrong. Once Bob needed new brake pads before driving to Boston, about half way there the brakes failed because they were installed wrong by Bunny. Bob had to negotiate the reminder of the trip solely with the parking brake. That wasn’t an isolated incident but Bunny was a friend, so Bob continued to bring his cars for servicing but always cautious for what may go wrong next. In another example Bob would find friendship at the Cedar Knolls McDonalds. Bob loved McDonalds. More specifically he loved McDonald’s Diet Coke and fries. In the late 1980s, Bob and one of the employees at the local McDonalds began a friendship built with simple conversations in the store. This employee worked his way up and eventually became a manager at the branch. Five years ago, there was a corporate restructuring and the manager, and more importantly a friend of Bob’s, was let go. Although the boundary of their friendship was kept inside the McDonalds over time they had formed a strong bond and Bob was upset by losing his friend. Bob wrote a letter to McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Chicago, explaining how “this was a travesty for the community.” He noted that the manager, an honest, hardworking and dedicated employee, was a staple of the Cedar Knolls McDonalds. He also told the corporate office that “they had made a very large mistake” and requested the manager’s contact information so that he could let the manager know his feelings. The McDonald’s manager and Bob started with simple conversations and over time they became good friends.
Bob’s professional and personal life was not without challenges, but he always approached both with a smile and a need to make connections with whomever he met. He was never comfortable as the center of attention and therefore never sought it out. He had a unique charm and warmth that will be missed by all. His greatest love and accomplishments were his family where again he was ahead of his time, playing the role of both domesticated father and mother.
Bob is survived by his six sons: Michael, David, Jonathan, Aaron, Nathan and Benjamin. He was also a father-in-law and proud grandfather to Katarzyna Rafalowska Rogan who is mother to Marcin, Christopher and Brian Rogan, Renee Romanelli Rogan who is mother to Jack and Kat Rogan, Jaimie Van Buren Rogan who is mother to Thomas and Tyler Rogan, Anna Cameron who is mother to Asher and Izabella Rogan. Bob is also survived by his wife of 36 years, Mona Rogan.
Bob was a kind and gentle soul whose impact on this world will continue for generations. Although he lived a long life, his death was too soon. The family will be making a donation to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America in Bob’s name and taking collections at the service.
If you would like to make a contribution in his name, please contact the family or go to: https://lcfamerica.org/get-involved/donate-to-lung-cancer-research/.