Roger Bandy was born to Martha Smith and LeRoy Bandy in Elizabeth City, Virginia in 1946. By the age of three, his parents had separated, and Martha was supporting her family in Buckroe by working as a housemaid at what is referred to as a state college, possibly Hampton Institute.
Bandy got a job as a food service worker at the Fort Monroe Officers’ Club in 1965 when he was only 18 years old. By 1977, he already had 12 years of experience under his belt and was acknowledged as being an excellent employee in the Fort Monroe newspaper, The Casemate. As a deaf man, Bandy said that, though he could read lips, he felt that his excellence at his position came through closely observing those around him. He retired from the Officers’ Club as a cook in 1999, after 34 years of service. In 2012, Bandy’s siblings posted a shout-out in the Daily Press, commending him on his positivity and perseverance.
Roger Bandy’s story was one mentioned briefly in the Casemate in the Fort Monroe Authority archive and provides a great example of the difficulty of historical research in recent history. Not much documentation of Bandy’s life has been made public to protect personal information; however, we know that Roger Bandy and many who knew him during his time at the Officers’ Club are still around today! We would love to hear more about his work and experiences, so please considering sharing!
Fort Monroe Authority. “Roger Spencer Bandy.” Illuminating Shadows, May 11, 2023. [access date]. [URL].