Fond farewell to Hartlepool sweet shop man Keith

Keith Rogers outside the family sweet shop he ran for 50 years in Oxford Street.
Keith Rogers outside the family sweet shop he ran for 50 years in Oxford Street.

A much-loved family man and former Hartlepool sweet shop owner was fondly remembered as he was laid to rest.

Keith Rogers, known to generations of people from his shop Rogers, in Oxford Road, died after an illness on February 1, aged 81.

Keith Rogers, who ran his family sweet shop for 50 years.

Keith Rogers, who ran his family sweet shop for 50 years.

He lived a full and varied life which included travelling the world and throwing himself into numerous town organisations.

But above all he was a gentleman, said his family to which he was devoted.

Born in Hartlepool, Keith went to Great Ayton Friends school and then Hartlepool Grammar School. As a teenager he loved chemistry experiments and on his list of life achievements he described himself as a ‘pyrotechnamaniac’.

Bonfire night was one of his favourite events of the year.

He was a genuinely respected person in the community

Susan Rogers

Although he had known wife Maureen, nee Churchfield, since childhood, dancing brought them together and they went on to win numerous trophies and medals.

They married in 1957 and first child Susan arrived the following year, born in the family flat above the sweet shop. Second child Sally followed two years later.

Keith took over the shop from his father, running the businesses for 50 years. It was also affectionately known as Rogers’ Lolly shop, because he made his own ice lollies.

In his eulogy, daughter Susan Rogers said: “I could talk for hours of the tales from the sweet shop days, but there is one word that everyone used when remembering my dad, and that was that he was a real gentleman.

“The word gentleman and Keith Rogers are synonymous, and he was a genuinely respected person in the community.”

After an operation for a form of skin cancer in his 40s in 1975, Keith decided that life was potentially too short.

For the next 40 years he and Maureen travelled the world visiting countries including Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Iceland, Norway, Canada and America as well as enjoying cruises.

Keith gave many talks about his travels, always donating his fee to Hartlepool hospice.

He was an enthusiastic member of Hartlepool Round Table, 41 club, Rotary, Hartlepool Retired Men’s Forum and president of Hartlepool Chamber of Trade.

Gardening and photography were two of his great passions.

Keith was also a much-loved grandad to Jamie and Alex, playing cards, board games, football, badminton and taking them to the park and going on many happy family trips.

Cycling kept him extremely fit and in later life he took up painting.

Keith’s funeral took place at St Luke’s Church last Friday.