William Leslie “Les” Rogers, “No Les, no more” of Chelsea, formerly of Ann Arbor, age 86, died peacefully on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at Chelsea Retirement Community, of Alzheimer’s Disease.
He was born March 27, 1934 in Boston, MA, the son of William Llew and Persis (Worcester) Rogers.
Les graduated from Pleasantville High School, Pleasantville, NY in 1951. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1955, and earned an MS and Ph.D. in nuclear Physics from Case Western Reserve University. In 1968, Les moved his family to Ann Arbor to start his career at Bendix Aerospace, where he worked on a project to design a Life Detector Module for the Mars Lander.
In 1970, he was recruited as a research scientist in the Division of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Michigan, where he not only had a very distinguished career, but also found a home. During his career he held appointments as a Professor and Research Scientist in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Engineering. He served as an academic advisor for graduate students and was a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health.
Les was an outstanding researcher and scientist, a creative problem solver, a patient teacher and mentor. He held several patents and authored many publications, scientific presentations and several book chapters. In 1998, he was awarded the IEEE Edward J Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist Award. He retired in 2000.
Although he made significant contributions to medical imaging technology what he loved most were the human connections. Having colleagues, collaborators and students all over the world gave him immense pleasure and enriched his life greatly. When his Alzheimer’s had progressed to a stage where he could no longer explain the work he did, he was still able to express the joy he received from the relationships he’d made.
Outside of work, Les enjoyed keeping busy with home improvement projects, camping, fishing, canoeing, photography and building sets for Burns Park Players. He loved exploring the Upper Peninsula, searching for the perfect campground, hiking to a secluded waterfall.
A celebration of life will be held at a later time.
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