Obit: AJ Rogue, former AVER President, dies at 51

Alan J. Rogue

Alan J. Rogue
April 20, 1959 – June 22, 2010

Alan J. Rogue, 51, of 122 Claybrook Drive, died at 12:18 a.m. Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at the St. Elizabeth Hospital, Main Campus in Youngstown.

Alan was born April 20, 1959 in Mexico City, Mexico, a son of Jose Alberto and Reza Novello Tapia and had lived in East Palestine five years, coming from Denver, CO.

He had been employed in Customer Service Department at AT&T Wireless for three years. Prior to that, he had operated his own construction company and had served in the U.S. Navy as a medical corpsman attached to the U. S. Marine Corps. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, East Palestine and had served as national president of American Veterans for Equal Rights. He was also the chief steward for Communication Workers of America Local 4320.

Besides his mother and step father, Don and Reza Dietiker of Galveston, TX, he is survived by his husband, Jeff Rogue; his mother and father in law, Alta and Gary Johnson of East Palestine; two brothers, Trevor Curtis of Denver, CO and Christopher Smith of Houston, TX; and his two furry children, Baxter and Sophie.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Grace Lutheran Church with the Reverend Donald Pentz officiating. Burial will follow in Little Beaver Cemetery, Enon Valley, PA where the East Palestine Honor Guard will provide military honors.

Friends may call at the Van Dyke-Swaney-Rettig Funeral Home, East Palestine from 4-7 p.m. Friday and at the church one hour prior to the services on Saturday. Memorials may be made to the Grace Lutheran Church.

Obit originally posted by Family Care Services.

By James Apedaile

I met Alan J. “AJ” Rogue almost 20 years ago.  We first met on a softball team that I coached and played on.  He played 2nd base and I played shortstop.

AJ was a very caring and compassionate person. When I joined Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Veterans of America (GLBVA), now known as American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) I tried to get AJ to join, but he just wasn’t ready to join the fight yet. I think the scar of his discharge from the Navy was still to painful to deal with.

Later when AJ joined AVER he did so with gusto, becoming the Rocky Mountain Chapter President.  He went on to become the National Vice President and then President of AVER. AJ believed in giving back to the community. While serving as President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter, he organized the chapter to provide once monthly meals to a shelter for at-risk teens.

When the Gay and Lesbian Community Center needed to make an area for their youth, he volunteered the chapter to do the remodeling. AJ, his partner Jeff and I did most of the work, along with a few other chapter members helping as they could. We tore down and added walls, windows, and doors. AJ, a General Contractor, organized everything.

As President of AVER, he successfully led the organization in moving from a 501c3 Non Profit Organization to add the 501c19 status so that we can also become a Veteran Service Organization. He gave speeches about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and pride festivities, developed relationships with the Denver community, and made trips to D.C. to lobby for the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT). Although AJ would have loved to see the end of DADT, he definitely laid groundwork for the accomplishment of this feat, and his handprints will be all over it when it finally happens.

AJ was quite successful in his life, and he was a wonderful Husband to his partner Jeff, who was beside him every step of the way in his journey of life.

AJ my friend, you will be missed by all of us. We celebrate your life.