Wife of Mister Rogers.
Joanne Rogers was born March 9, 1928 in Jacksonville, Florida. She was the daughter of Wyatt and Ebra Byrd. She married Fred Rogers on 1952. They were married for 50 years until Fred died in 2003 from Stomach Cancer. She carried on his legacy until her death that occurred on January 14, 2021. She was 92 years old.∼Born Sara Joanne Byrd in Jacksonville, Florida, she was the wife of Fred Rogers. The two met while attending Rollins College in Florida. They moved to Pittsburgh in 1953 when Fred joined WQED. Years later, he would develop the children’s television show Mister Rogers Neighborhood, which ran for 33 years. Her beloved husband Fred Rogers may have been Pittsburgh’s favorite neighbor, but Joanne Rogers was a Pittsburgh fixture herself. She shared Fred's message of kindness through the city and throughout the world.
Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to many. She served as chair of Fred Rogers Productions following Fred's death in 2003. Her legacy included several honors, including an award in 2019 that credited her with preserving Fred Rogers’ legacy in Pittsburgh and helping young people learn about film and media, and the Loving Kindness Award from the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Duquesne University honored her in 2019 with an honorary degree. That same year, she made a cameo appearance in the film, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," starring Tom Hanks.
She died on January 14, 2021, leaving behind two sons, James and John, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. She will be interred across from her husband in his family's mausoleum in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
1928–2003 (m. 1952)
Sponsored by Ancestry