Roger's Story

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Roger Hazen Vaglia passed away on Monday, December 18, 2017. He was the son of Phillip and Vlasta (Flossie Frederick) Vaglia. Born on September 1, 1933 in a coal company house in McCullough, PA, his early years were spent in a house without running water, refrigerators or even an ice box. He attended Penn Township High School, where he achieved honors as a student athlete, graduating first in a class of 100. He was elected Junior and Senior class president, captain of and 3-year letter-man in football. He was named by local sports editors to the Southwest Pennsylvania Outstanding High School Football team in 1950.

After graduating from high school in 1951 he received an academic scholarship from Harvard from which he graduated in the class of 1955 with an A.B in Engineering Science. After graduation, he worked in Research and Development at the Elliot Co. in Jeannette, PA. Subsequent moves took him to Bradford, PA and Beaumont, TX with Dresser Clark. It was in Beaumont, TX where he met and in 1960 married Marilyn Ann Hohn, his wife of 57 years. In 1962 they moved to Springfield, OH where he began a 38-year career in Sales and Marketing with White Motor, Superior, Cooper Energy Services, finally retiring in 2000 after holding various management positions in Engineering, Sales and Marketing. He often remarked that only in America could the grandson of barely educated European immigrants, son of a Father who quit school after 8th grade to work in the mines, end up at Harvard and then see both his children get master's degrees in their chosen fields. Before and after retirement, he and Marilyn traveled extensively which took them to all 50 US states, all the Canadian provinces, 122 foreign countries and all seven continents. His other retirement activities included an A to Z garden (from arugula to zucchini) in which he grew a wide variety of veggies to, as he put it, "eat, can and give away to friends and the foodbank. For the past three years, he worked with a group of compressor and engine enthusiasts to save and restore a 1936 Superior engine. This fall the group was able to return the engine to working order. The engine will be donated to the Coolspring Power Museum, in Coolspring, PA. Roger has a wide circle of friends, both locally and around the US. He organized reunions with high school and college classmates as well as former fellow employees, both locally and in Houston, TX and Cambridge, MA.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Hohn Vaglia; children, Suzanne (Lauro) Cavazos, Columbus, OH, David (Susan) Vaglia, Townsend, DE; sisters Phyllis Gallo, North Versailles, PA, Antonnette (Norman) Graham, Shaker Heights, OH; sister-in-law Frances (Michel) Alain, Montreal, Canada; nephews Sam (Debbie) Gallo, North Versailles, PA, Dennis (Linda) Gallo, Parrish, FL, Wayne Gallo, Alexandria, VA, Mark (Jeannie) Gallo, Ransonville, NY, David (Reyne) Gallo, Columbia, SC; nieces Shannon (Carlos DeLeon) Graham, Dubai, UAE, Kristy(Ludwig) Sels, London, UK, Sally Hohn Hawthorne, Xenia, OH, Genevieve (Bertrand) Cornet, Arlon, Belgium, Annie (Alex) Basa, Montreal, Canada; great-niece Ashlyn Zerangue, Springfield, OH; great-nephew Austin Zerangue, Xenia, OH; and other members of his extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents Phillip and Flossie Vaglia, brother-in-law Sam Gallo and sister-in-law Dorothy Hohn Hawthorne.

A celebration of his life was held on December 21, 2017 followed by a burial in the Ferncliff Cemetery, Springfield, OH. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Springfield Second Harvest Food Bank, 701 East Columbia St., Springfield, OH 45503 or the Coolspring Power Museum, 179 Coolspring Road, Coolspring, PA 15730.
Published on February 2, 2018
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