SAN ANTONIO’S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN CONTRACTOR PASSES AWAY
Walter Rodgers, Jr. passed away on January 2, 2019. Mr. Rodgers was the owner of Walter Rodgers Concrete Contractor.
As an upcoming contractor here in the city, Mr. Rodgers often recounted his first major job in the City of San Antonio at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) Medical Center alongside HB Zachary and many prominent others. This was the stepping stone Mr. Rodgers needed to obtain the recognition he worked all of his life so hard for. He was the only black contractor allotted the opportunity to work on one of the Nation and San Antonio’s most prestige landmark.
He and his wife, Clara, moved into a community where there were only a few houses in the Wheatley Heights subdivision, at that time many still with dirt roads, but he had a vision. Having many opportunities to enjoy the fruits of his labor he never thought of moving out of this community which he so dearly loved.
Mr. Rodgers, Concrete Contractor
Mr. Rodgers went on to build foundations and other concrete work for many projects, including, but not limited to businesses, government projects, homes throughout San Antonio and surrounding areas. But his most proud moments were assisting in the structure, any structures, for any House of God.
Never forgetting where he came from and the struggle to achieve this accomplishment, he felt it was his duty to assist and to give back. Mr. Rodgers was responsible for helping and assisting so many upcoming black contractors to start and be successful in their own pursuit of business ownership.
Mr. Rodgers also opened his own concrete plant on then Nebraska Street (now known as Martin Luther King Dr.) on San Antonio’s Eastside, but this land and business was taken from his as eminent domain. Part of the wall where this plant once existed still stands today.
However, all that he achieved, all that he done, all his labor will never compare to his one and only love, the Lord!
He will be missed along the path this year during the King Celebration. Never missing the opportunity to sit outside on the tailgate of his pickup to see how far we have come.