The passing of the beloved ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ star’s widow is confirmed by her late husband’s nonprofit via Instagram, but the cause of death has yet to be revealed.
AceShowbiz –Fred Rogers‘ widow has died. Joanne Rogers, who was married to the late “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” star for 50 years, passed away at the age of 92 on Thursday, January 14. The cause of her death, however, has yet to be revealed.
Joanne’s passing was confirmed by her late husband’s nonprofit, Fred Rogers Productions via Instagram. “Fred Rogers Productions is deeply saddened by the passing of Joanne Rogers. The loving partner of Fred Rogers for more than 50 years, she continued their shared commitment to supporting children and families after his death as chair of the board of Fred Rogers Productions,” the statement read.
“Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to everyone in our organization,” the message continued. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joanne’s family and the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her.”
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Honoring Joanna in the wake of her passing was Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. In a statement shared on Twitter, he wrote, “Through her grace, humor and down-to-earth demeanor Joanne Rogers personified what we love about the City of Pittsburgh.”
“As the partner of Fred Rogers for a half-century she helped champion his good works to a global audience, and remained committed to his vision and to this city after his passing,” he went on. “She was always there when we needed her. I and countless others, from every walk of life, were humbled to call her friend.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto offered his tribute to Joanne Rogers.
Joanne, whose real name was Sara Joanne Byrd, was born in Jacksonville, Florida on March 9, 1928. She started playing piano when she was 5 years old and got a scholarship from Rollins College to study piano performance. It was the place where she met her late husband.
Back in June 2018, Joanne told the “Today” show that Fred proposed to her through a letter. “He wrote me a letter,” she recalled at that time. “My last year at Florida State, he wrote me a letter proposing marriage.” They tied the knot on June 9, 1952 and shared two sons, James and John. They were together until he died of stomach cancer in 2003.
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