It is with sadness and a deep sense of gratitude that the Deep Ellum Community Association (DECA) shares the passing of its president, longtime board member, and fierce volunteer Jim Rogers. Jim embodied the spirit of the Deep Ellum community—advocating for the district with selfless gifts of time, craft, and service to others. Warmly referred to as the Mr. Rogers of the neighborhood, Jim coalesced a new era of governance at DECA, building on a strong history of community support from past leaders.
Jim was immensely proud to work on and lead a variety of DECA projects. He was an early champion, uber-volunteer, and green-thumb guru at the popular Deep Ellum Urban Gardens (DUG). He cared deeply for neighborhood infrastructure and how it impacted residents, businesses, and visitors. From repairing twinkle lights and removing unsafe tree limbs to filling sidewalk holes and fixing broken water meter covers, Jim stepped in simply because there were problems that needed fixing.
He was instrumental in expanding and growing the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, fueling business for craftspeople and artists, and engendering community and commerce. Jim coordinated and organized DECA’s presence at the annual Deep Ellum Arts Festival. More recently, he was instrumental in advocating for Deep Ellum’s free COVID-19 testing. He was immensely proud of the Deep Ellum community and his impact will last forever.