‘Mister Rogers’ Wife, Joanne, Dies at Age 92

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Joanne Byrd Rogers — wife of the late TV personality Fred Rogers — has passed away at the age of 92. The production company named after her husband announced the news on Jan. 14, 2021. The organization shared the heartbreaking announcement on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to everyone in our organization.

They went on further sharing their “heartfelt condolences to Joanne’s family and the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her.”

She was given the name of Sara Joanne Byrd when she was born — on March 9, 1928, in Jacksonville, Florida. At an early age, she learned how to play the piano and her love for music grew.

RogersAfter graduating from high school she enrolled at Rollins College. There she earned her Bachelor of Music degree.  From there she enrolled at Florida State University and earned her Master of Music. There she studied with a prominent Hungarian composer — Ernst von Dohnanyi.

While enrolled at Rollins College, Rogers met her future husband. The two quickly bonded over their love for music.

In a 2019 interview, Rogers stated, “Music meant a lot to both of us. We had that in common and we talked often of, ‘How do people live without music?’”

After earning her Master’s she continued to play the piano. Rogers has two recorded albums with her long-lasting friend and fellow pianist, Jeannine Morrison.

On June 9, 1952, she married her late husband. The couple had two sons together — Jim and John Rogers. Her husband passed away on Feb. 27, 2003.

She continued to keep her husband’s memory alive by sharing his messages of kindness. The late TV personality’s wife also served as the honorary chair of the advisory council for the Fred M. Rogers Center Early Learning and Children’s Media.

Not only that she also served on the chair emerita board of directors of Fred Rogers Production. A production company founded by her late husband in 1971. It was aimed to create media for children. Initially, the organization was called Family Communications, Inc.

Many people are thinking of Rogers’s loved ones and friends during this difficult time.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Good Morning America: Joanne Rogers, widow of ‘Mister Rogers,’ dies at 92; by Angeline Jane Bernabe

IMDb: Joanne Rogers

Inline Image Courtesy of Penn State’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Featured Image by Kolluru krishna Chaitanya Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License

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