Born: May 22, 1940
Died: February 2, 2010

Henry E. Rogers was born in Amarillo, Texas, son of Henry Claibourne and Leta Spencer Rogers. Hank, who was the first member of his family to attend college, prepared for Yale at Amarillo High School.

Hank was a resident of Saybrook College. He was a member of the German Club and spent his junior year at the University of Munich. His roommates were Ken Edwards and Roy Hammer. Following graduation with a B.A. in German he continued in Graduate School at Yale. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1967. His thesis was on Sherbro, a language of Sierra Leone.

Hank then joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Toronto in 1967. He became a full professor, serving until his retirement in 2005. He also earned an M.Ed. in Applied Psychology in 1982 and pursued an avocation in counseling. He became a Canadian citizen in the 1960s.

Hank also lived and studied in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland on a research project on Scots Gaelic.

His special expertise in teaching and research was phonetics and he developed 2 textbooks, Theoretical and Practical Phonetics (1991) and The Sounds of Language (2000). He was a gifted font designer and designed several including IPAPhon which is used by phoneticians around the world. According to an article in the Toronto Globe & Mail, "His love of fonts and font-making led him to investigate writing systems used in languages around the world. In the 1990s, he began teaching courses on it. His book, Writing Systems: A Linguistic Approach (2003), is a masterly treatment of the subject that is unique in both its comprehensiveness and its insight." During the last decade of his life he did pioneering research on the phonetics of gay and lesbian speech.

The newspaper described Hank as having "an even-handed and unwavering sense of fair play, and his temperament led him naturally to serving the communities he participated in. He was a founding member of Out and Out Toronto and Gay Fathers. In the University, he served the Faculty Club in many roles including president. He worked tirelessly on settling issues for colleagues first as a member of the Faculty Association's Grievance Committee, eventually rising to Vice-President, and later as Vice President and a long-time member of the University's Grievance Review Panel."

Hank is survived by his partner of 27 years, Dennis Helm. They have been together since 1983 and married in 2004 after same sex marriage become legal in Canada. Mr. Helm is a retired director of mental health and addiction programs for the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Hank had 2 sons from his prior marriage to Dorothy, who resides in Ottawa and with whom he remained close over the years.

His son David and wife Carole reside in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory where he works in computer consulting. Son Iain and partner Anne reside in Incheon, Korea where he teaches at the Language Institute of the University of Incheon.

Classmate Roy Hammer recalls that he was best man at Hank's wedding to Dorothy. He then lost contact with Hank until about 10 years ago. Roy also reached roommate Ken Edwards, who was able to reestablish contact with Hank prior to his death. Roy said it seemed ironic that Hank spent his career in Toronto so far to the north when as an undergraduate from Texas "he was critical of us northerners as frigid people."

Dennis Helm said "Hank got great pleasure from reading, gardening, cooking, travelling, training his dogs, following politics and spending long summers at the family cottage in Haliburton. Hank will be remembered for many things but perhaps most keenly for his big heart, his philosophical approach to life and his ready and distinctive laugh. He was genuine, kind and possessed a rare and infectious sense of humor."

Hank died at his home in Scarborough overlooking Lake Ontario after a ten month struggle with stomach cancer. He was buried at Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto. Tributes in Hank's memory may be made to University of Toronto, 21 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 3J3, for the scholarship in Linguistics established in his name.