Arthur Arnold Rogers of Middletown, formerly of Deerfield, MA (1952-2008), died peacefully on Saturday, September 2, 2017 after an extended illness. Born February 14, 1925 in Evanston, IL, he attended local schools and the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His college years were interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy 1943-46, where he held the post of ensign in anti-submarine warfare on the U.S.S. Fletcher. After the war, he continued at Wisconsin for a B.S. in Geology, and went on to Harvard University where he earned a Master’s degree in Paleontology in 1949.

He was employed by Royal Dutch Shell in Baton Rouge, LA and Corpus Christie, TX until 1952, when he became owner and operator of Hilltop Farm, his wife Anne’s family farm in Deerfield, MA. There he managed all aspects of the dairy business, milking, working with employees on crops and buildings, marketing the milk, caring for his land and herd. In 1986, he sold the herd and leased the farm property to a neighboring farmer.

Arthur was active in many community and state organizations. In 1990, he and Anne founded the Deerfield Land Trust (now merged with the Franklin Land Trust), where he served as president until 2004. A favorite focus was the popular local theatre company, The Stockade Players (1956-69), where he worked in many capacities on and off stage. His Deerfield town commitments included the Planning Board, the School Committee, and contributions to the Tercentennial Pageant. Some of his wider roles included service as President of the Franklin County Farm Bureau, Founding Secretary of the Mass. Cooperative Milk Producers Federation (1956-1974), Vice-President of the Regional Common Marketing Agency, and Director, United Dairy Industries Association.

In 1992, Arthur gave a conservation restriction to the Mass. Department of Environmental Management for his land along the Connecticut River, and in 1995 received an APR (Agricultural Preservation Restriction) payment for development rights on much of his large farm acreage.

In 1949, he married Anne Fiske Davenport, who died in 1991. They had three children who survive him, along with their spouses and his grandchildren: William (Meg Wickwire), Jonathan, Evan, Penn; Arthur (Laura Johnson), Luke; Margaret (Martin Schumacher), Emma, Molly. In 1992, he married Janet Warren Buell, who survives him, along with her four Buell children and their spouses, George (Megan Kelly), Lisa (Jeff Piemont), Becky (Rick Bauer), Sam (Erika), and eight step-grandchildren, Alex, Dan and Ben Piemont; Avery Buell; Cora and Sophie Bauer; Madeleine and Anna Buell. In 2008, the couple retired to the Newport area. Jan is a resident of Blenheim-Newport in Middletown.

A man with a remarkable array of skills and interests, Arthur was a gifted classical pianist and devotee of classical music, Chopin foremost. He was the family historian for his Arnold forebears, the founders of the Lazy Lawn place in Middletown, where he spent many happy summers as a child and which he always viewed as a center of his life.  An aficionado of political issues, a cartoonist, photographer, chess player, epic coffee drinker, and avid reader in all genres, he was also adept at fixing things. It was said that he was the only one for miles around who could repair the hay baler.

He usually scoffed at the description of him in John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley.” The author began his 1960 trip across the United States in Deerfield, having asked permission to camp in the Hilltop Farm orchard. In describing that setting, he wrote that “the farmer” was the happiest man he’d encountered in his entire journey.

The family plans a later gathering to honor Arthur’s grand life. With all their hearts, they thank the staff at Royal Middletown Nursing Center (formerly Forest Farm) for over three years of extraordinary, expert, loving care. Donations in Arthur’s memory will be welcomed by the Franklin Land Trust, P.O. Box 450, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370. www.franklinlandtrust.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.