Jared Kennedy Rodgers
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Jared Kennedy Rodgers
  • December 16, 1968 - January 9, 2017
  • California

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CARMEL BY-THE-SEA, CA --- Jared Kennedy Rodgers, B.A., B.S., D.V.M., a Baltimore native who blended passionate careers in veterinary medicine and rock music, died January 9 at his home in Carmel, CA, of kidney cancer. He was 48.

A graduate of Pikesville High School in Maryland (1986), the University of California, Santa Cruz (1990) , and the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (2007), he worked as a professional bassist, singer and songwriter with bands and studios in San Francisco and the Bay Area, performing and touring for more than a decade before returning to New England to study for his degree in veterinary medicine at Tufts.

Jared's musical gifts were evident from childhood. From high school through college and then a decade in San Francisco, he fronted or anchored several rock bands, including "Blind Tom" and "The Young Americans," played in countless others, and was a prolific songwriter. From an early infatuation with the sounds of 60's garage rock, the British Invasion and 80's punk, he went on to become a passionate devotee of American psychedelic improvisational music. At the time of his death he was near completion of an album comprising 17 original songs, recorded in Boulder, CO and his home studio.

After receiving his D.V.M, he completed a year of residency in emergency medicine at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University veterinary hospital in Blacksburg, VA, then practiced in Ellsworth, Maine for a year before returning to Carmel. He practiced emergency and general veterinary medicine in the Bay Area until a year before his death. During his career, he was certified to practice in California, Maryland,Maine, Virginia and Massachusetts, and was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In 2012, a year after he was diagnosed with cancer, he and Alison Kirsten Meyers, a registered nurse and native of Ohio, were married at Big Sur. Throughout the next five years, he collaborated in his own care with advocates and teams of physicians at the University of California, San Francisco, Stanford University Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Dr. Rodgers was the son of Joann Ellison Rodgers of Owings Mills, MD, a journalist, author and retired public information officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine; and George Greeley Rodgers of Ellicott City, MD, a career journalist and editor, now retired, at the Baltimore Evening Sun.

He was a long time member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in Baltimore, and was a Bar Mitzvah there in 1981.

At Pikesville High School, he appeared in numerous musicals and plays, most memorably to his friends as a skate-boarding Puck in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and as Rosencrantz in Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." He also was a varsity athlete, on the soccer and indoor track teams.

A lifelong Democrat and devotee of Eastern philosophy, his undergraduate degree was a B.A. in philosophy. A lifelong friend, Andrew Horwitz of Baltimore and Los Angeles, said "Jared had an extraordinary mind and a talent for synthesizing philosophical traditions from Wittgenstein to Spinoza to the Upanishads. He was able to take difficult ideas and make them understandable to all who knew him in his conversations, his songs and his lyrics." He enjoyed attending concerts, classical music, reading, and camping, and had traveled to Greece, Israel and widely in the United States. He also enjoyed antiquing and collected custom and vintage instruments. He especially loved New England, and enjoyed boyhood summers at Camp Cody in New Hampshire.

In addition to his parents and wife, Dr. Rodgers is survived by a brother, Adam (Jenny) Rodgers of Calabasas, CA; a niece, Margaret Ellison Rodgers of Annapolis, MD; two nephews, Aaron Rodgers and Levi Rodgers, of Calabasas; two great aunt, Sondra Ellison and Harriet Feinglass, both of Baltimore; his step-mother Margaret "Meg" Rodgers of Rodgers Forge; two step-brothers, Thomas (Sabrina) Greenman of Booklyn, and Charles Edward "Ted" (Jennifer) Greenman of Pennsylvania; his mother-in-law, Kaaren[CQ] Meyers of Ohio; and numerous cousins and step nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his companion dogs, Wellington and Buddy.

A funeral service will be held January 14 at The Paul Mortuary in Pacific Grove, CA, at 11 a.m., with viewing before the service and cremation to follow. A Life Celebration in Baltimore will be held in February at a date to be determined. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.