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Published: Sunday, 3/9/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

Daniel K. Rodgers; 1929-2014: Uniform store owner advocate for schools

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

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Daniel K. Rodgers, a longtime sporting goods merchandiser whose eponymous West Toledo store focused on custom uniforms and the needs of school teams, died Friday in Kingston Rehabilitation of Perrysburg. He was 84.

He had developed complications after a recent medical procedure, his daughter Joanie said.

Mr. Rodgers was a sales veteran at Athletic Supply Co., a downtown store, when in November, 1970, he opened Dan Rodgers Sporting Goods on Reynolds Road near West Bancroft Street. The store came to specialize in supplying jackets, uniforms, equipment, and trophies for team sports and later moved to Monroe Street.

“You’ve got to know where your niche is,” Mr. Rodgers told The Blade in 2006. “Mine has always been in team business and custom uniforms.”

Mr. Rodgers was a 1995 inductee in the City Athletic League Hall of Fame.

“The secret to his success was really giving everybody a great deal and being an advocate for the schools,” his daughter said. “He dealt with people in the right way. People kept coming back because they liked him.”

His daughter Cate Kaczala has been running the store.

He remained physically active, daughter Joanie said.

“Each day he said to me and my siblings, ‘I will start each day with a belly laugh and a positive attitude,’ ” daughter Joanie said. “That’s the way he lived his life.”

He relished the annual family vacation that grew into a tradition, as he, his wife, their six children, and the Rodgers’ grandchildren gathered first at the Michigan resort run by George Miley, a Toledo teacher, coach, and principal, and most recently at a resort on Grand Lake in Presque Isle County, Michigan.

He was born March 24, 1929, to Catherine and James Rodgers. He attended Central Catholic High School and was a graduate of Libbey High School. He attended the University of Toledo and served two years in the Army and was stationed in Japan.

Surviving are his wife, the former Susan McAuley, whom he married Feb. 11, 1961; daughters, Ann Hauden, Joanie Baas, Cate Kaczala, and Sarah Ward; sons, Danny and Michael Rodgers; 15 grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Monday in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Historic Church of St. Patrick downtown, where he was a member.

The family suggests tributes to Historic St. Patrick’s preservation society.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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