Joanne Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers, has passed away at 92-years-old.
Fred Rogers Productions and the McFeely-Rogers Foundation confirmed the news on Thursday, writing, “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.”
They added, “Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to everyone in our organization. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joanne’s family and the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her.”
(2/2) Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to everyone in our organization. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joanne’s family and the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her. pic.twitter.com/aPx9mGwhzc
— Fred Rogers Productions (@FredRogersPro) January 14, 2021
Joanne was married to the “Mister Rogers” icon from 1952 to 2003 when Fred passed away at age 74. They shared sons James and John.
Even after Fred’s death, Joanne continued to carry on his legacy of compassion and kindness.
In 2019, she was honoured with the George Romero Legacy Award at Steeltown Entertainment’s 2019 Elly Awards.
As longtime residents of Pittsburgh, the city paid tribute to Joanne on a number of occasions, including singing the famous theme song to her while she visited the Magee Women’s Hospital.
There's no Mr. Rogers without Joanne Rogers. ❤️
The widow of the television icon died today at 92, according to @KDKA. 🙏
Last year, the staff at Pittsburgh's Magee Women’s Hospital serenaded her during a visit. pic.twitter.com/xClzrjPuzA
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) January 14, 2021
See more tributes to Joanne below:
Thank you to Joanne and Fred Rogers for their commitment to public media, children's programming, and making the world a more neighborly place 💙 https://t.co/HxolIE3AuV
— PBS Digital Studios (@PBSDS) January 14, 2021
Such sad news today.
Mrs. Joanne Rogers, the wife of the late Mr. Fred Rogers, passed away.
The 'neighborhood' won't be the same without her.
— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) January 14, 2021
I just got off the phone with two dear friends of Fred and Joanne Rogers who tell me that Mrs. Rogers has died. She was 92. She led an inspirational life. Prayers of peace and comfort for your family Mrs. Rogers.
— Shannon Perrine (@sperrineWTAE) January 14, 2021
Saddened to hear of the death of Joanne Rogers. She was a gracious, sweet, gregarious lady. This was taken as I interviewed her at McGee Hospital. Nurses made red sweaters for the babies. She joked, “It has been a long time since anyone got down on a knee for this old lady.” pic.twitter.com/gXHVNB0rcl
— Rick Dayton (@rickdayton) January 14, 2021
We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of Joanne Rogers, a joyful and tender-hearted spirit, whose heart and wisdom have guided our work in service of Fred’s enduring legacy. We extend our sympathies to the Rogers Family and all who were blessed to know Joanne. pic.twitter.com/ncJMIMSrxi
— Fred Rogers Center (@FredRogersCtr) January 14, 2021