TRIBUTE: Family mourns tragic death of Paul Rodgers

Nicholas Mercer
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Prominent seafarer, motorcycle enthusiast killed in head-on collision

Carbonear’s Capt. Paul Rodgers had a strong love for riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Capt. Paul Rodgers

The 64-year-old did not purchase his first bike until he was in his 50s, and he was making up for lost time.

“It was something he always wanted to do,” his eldest son Chris said of his dad’s decision to purchase a motorcycle.

It was this love of riding that brought Paul out for a second run on a cool evening on June 23. Paul and his wife Kay had just returned from a run up the North Shore of Conception Bay to purchase flowers for the couple’s garden.

The pair returned home and planted the flowers. That finished and dinner completed, Paul set out on his trusty “hog” again as the sun was beginning its final descent across the sky.

There was a slight wind, nothing powerful enough to dissuade any biker from taking advantage of the evening.

Seasoned bikers would say it was the perfect night for a ride.

“Dad wanted to get another run in before dark,” said Chris.

Firing up the engine, Paul set off again for the North Shore. This time, however, it would be his last.

On his way back he was struck by the driver of a white pickup truck on Neck Road in Victoria.

Witnesses say the truck swerved into Paul’s lane and the two collided head-on. He was taken to hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries.

The tragedy has left a gaping hole in Paul Rodgers’ family, and he will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.

“He did everything he could for us,” Paul’s son, Chris, told The Compass on Wednesday. “He loved mom, his children and his grandchildren.”

“Dad also loved riding the bike,” he added.

 

A prominent seaman

Paul began working on boats in his teens. He started as a steward before progressing up the ranks.

Paul was first mate on vessels with his father Maxwell and eventually Paul became the skipper aboard Marine Atlantic ferries.

“Dad worked up from the bottom,” said Chris.

He began captaining vessels going up the Labrador coast. When the company cut back some of its runs, Paul became the captain of the MV Caribou, ferrying passengers from this province to the mainland across the Cabot Strait.

In 2006, he retired from his position with Marine Atlantic. But, that was not the end of his seafaring.

Paul would become the captain of the MV Northern Ranger, guiding it along the Labrador coast. He also did some pilot work.

Paul made numerous contacts during his years and was known as an excellent ship handler. When a company needed a vessel safely guided into Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Paul was often called upon for his expertise.

“Dad did that in the summers and spent time with family in the fall and winter,” said Chris.

Prior to his passing, Paul had declined a job offer to pilot a ship.

“Dad said he was going to give it up when he turned 65,” said Chris. “He was going to spend time with his family.”

 

A strong man

Chris describes his father as a tenacious man. It is a fitting moniker when you consider Paul courageously fought off cancer twice in his lifetime, even travelling for chemotherapy sessions by himself as not to burden his family.

First, there was prostate, which was followed by a bought of colon cancer.

“He was a very strong man,” said Chris.

 

A family man

Paul loved to travel. The couple took many cruises together.

Motorcycles were not Paul’s only passion. He also loved cars, in particular Camaros.

Paul had just purchased a new one and was set to enjoy that.

“Dad had so much left to do,” said Chris.

A funeral service for Capt. Paul Rodgers is scheduled for Friday, June 27 at 2 p.m. from Bethany United Church in Carbonear.

nmercer@cbncompass.ca

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, The Compass, MV Northern Ranger Bethany United Church

Geographic location: North Shore, Conception Bay, Labrador Neck Road Victoria Happy Valley Goose Bay Carbonear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Linda martin
    June 27, 2014 - 10:11

    I would like to give my condolences to all the Rodgers Family and to let them know they will all be in my prayers I met Paul through his sister in law Martha and he was a good man with a great heart and soul he was taken too soon

  • Capt Roy Parsons
    June 27, 2014 - 08:28

    I worked with Paul on the gulf ferries.He was a very nice person our thought and prayers go out to your family.

  • Capt Roy Parsons
    June 27, 2014 - 08:26

    I worked with Paul on the gulf ferries.He was a very nice person our thought and prayers go out to your family.

  • Laurie Merrigan
    June 26, 2014 - 22:59

    If you were ever uncertain as what it meant to be a gentleman , you never knew Captain Paul. I met Paul and his lovely wife Kay a very long time ago when Kay and my mom worked at the old Carbonear Hospital. My mom held Kay in very high regard and spoke of her often. On several occasions they would come to our home and it is at this time I had the privilege of getting to know Paul. He was a kind, sensitive, and very funny. He never had a bad word to say about anybody. Although I moved away to Alberta many years ago, every time I visited home it was without question to stop in a say hi to a beautiful couple. Paul taught us all what the meaning of nice was. Through his family and friends his legacy will live forever. Thank you Paul for being my friend, R.I.P. until we meet again!

  • Laurie Merrigan
    June 26, 2014 - 22:55

    If you were ever uncertain as what it meant to be a gentleman , you never knew Captain Paul. I met Paul and his lovely wife Kay a very long time ago when Kay and my mom worked at the old Carbonear Hospital. My mom held Kay in very high regard and spoke of her often. On several occasions they would come to our home and it is at this time I had the privilege of getting to know Paul. He was a kind, sensitive, and very funny. He never had a bad word to say about anybody. Although I moved away to Alberta many years ago, every time I visited home it was without question to stop in a say hi to a beautiful couple. Paul taught us all what the meaning of nice was. Through his family and friends his legacy will live forever. Thank you Paul for being my friend, R.I.P. until we meet again!

  • Mike Desrochers
    June 26, 2014 - 19:59

    Sad To hear about this man . The love he has For His Family , Friends , Mates and Toys will Allways be There in his Soel , Salut Mr. Rodgers It sounds like you will be Missed.

  • Karen Campbell Larkin
    June 26, 2014 - 18:54

    Well said Chriis, your Dad was indeed a great man and his family was every thing ..he was a great neighbour , he always had a funny remark to one of us girls and a smile on his face.. Paul even took a few trips down here in cooks harbour , . One on his moter bike , I guess him and mart are having a few good chats and laughs now .. Another angel to keep Heaven Rocken , Kay , Chris and PJ and families , words cannot express the pain and sorrow you guys are feeling today .. Take care of your mom Boys !! Thinking and praying for you all .. All our love , the Campbell Family..

  • steve callahan
    June 26, 2014 - 18:52

    we have never met . but i am from new perlican Tbay . prayers and thoughts go out to the family .

  • Carter Laing
    June 26, 2014 - 16:57

    I have not seen Paul for a very long time, but I was very sadden of his passing. He did live a good life and he lived it to the fulliest. I express my deepest sympthay to all the family for the loss of a great human being.Rest in peace my friend.

  • Carter Laing
    June 26, 2014 - 16:55

    I have not seen Paul for a very long time, but I was very sadden of his passing. He did live a good life and he lived it to the fulliest. I express my deepest sympthay to all the family for the loss of a great human being.Rest in peace my friend.

  • Ken Kelloway
    June 26, 2014 - 08:49

    What a sad and traggic thing to happen to a man who loved his family and wanted to start enjoying his well earned Retirement. Im from carbonear also but i am not sure if i know the family or not. Being away from home up in Fort McMurray AB. i try to keep in touch with my home town. this traggidey just hits hard how a person can be taken away so fast from us is unreal. My thoughts and prayers are going out to the rodgers family. Rest in piece Captain Paul Rodgers.

  • Chuck Ash
    June 26, 2014 - 08:13

    What a great story about a great self made man. I will miss our talks when the Northern Ranger pulls into Black Tickle this summer. I always looked forward to our Saturday night chats. Rest in peace Skipper Paul, you'll be missed by a lot of people.