Earl Miller Rothberger

May 2, 1923 ~ August 22, 2020 (age 97)


Earl Rothberger, 97, Signal Mtn., passed away peacefully on August 22, 2020, at his home surrounded by family. He was born May 2, 1923, on Bailey Avenue in Chattanooga and graduated from McCallie School and met Betty Blasingame at a fraternity party at Georgia Tech. They were married when he was nineteen years old, on February 12, 1943, while he was in the U.S. Army-Air Corps. Shortly after, he was assigned to China as a forward air controller, then called radioman. He shipped out from Long Beach, CA, went to Bombay, India, crossed India in an open air train to Calcutta and flew over the hump, Himalayas, into China. At the end of WWII, he boarded a troop ship at Calcutta, went through the Suez Canal, through the Mediterranean Sea to New York having circled the Earth. While in China, he caught malaria, was wounded, received a Purple Heart, and was awarded a Bronze Star. He returned to Georgia Tech, graduated in mechanical engineering and subsequently joined his father and brother at the Rothberger Director Company. He was a member of Central Presbyterian Church and Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, an avid golfer, and he and Betty volunteered and served on the board for Habitat for Humanity for a number of Years. Earl was preceded in death by wife, of seventy-six years, Betty Rothberger, parents, Fred and Florence Rothberger, siblings, Fred Rothberger, Margaret Lea, Ray Rothberger and Glenn Rothberger. He is survived by sons, Earl (Susan) Rothberger Jr. and Mark (Faye) Rothberger, and numerous grandchildren and great grand-children. A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorials can be made to Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church or charity of your choice. Arrangements are entrusted to Lane Funeral Home Chattanooga Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415, (423) 877-3524.

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