BOSTON — Philanthropist and businessman Thomas A. Rodgers III, 70, passed away November 1 in Boston, after a brief illness.
Born March 30, 1945, in Fall River, Rodgers resided in Tiverton, R.I., with his wife Gisela. He was the son of Thomas A. Rodgers Jr., and Rita Hayes.
Rodgers attended St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, and graduated from Brown University in 1966. Upon graduation he went to work at the family company, Globe Manufacturing, which was founded by his father.
Under Thomas IIIs direction, Globe Manufacturing became the third largest supplier worldwide of Spandex and elastic fibers. He believed strongly in education and his Rodgers Family Foundation donated generously to organizations in Fall River such as Bristol Community College, the YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club. He was also a great supporter of the Fall River Diocese’s St. Mary’s Education Fund (now the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education).
The foundation also gave generously to Salve Regina University, where a donation helped fund the school’s graduate program in nursing. Rodgers also helped establish the Tashirat Foundation in Tepoztln, Mexico, which provides a home for abused children.
He and Gisela celebrated their 44th anniversary last January. He is survived by his wife Gisela; sisters Geraldine Roos (Portsmouth, R.I.), Maureen Bateman and her husband Ted (Stuart, Fla.), and Christine Fennelly and her husband John (Westport, Mass.); children Alexandra Bonome and her husband Peter (Portsmouth, R.I.), Sarah McNeill and her husband Sean (Newport, R.I.), Melissa Rodgers (Tepotzlan, Mexico), Thomas A. Rodgers, IV and his wife Carrie (Longboat Key, Fla.); and six grandchildren.