PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joanne Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers and an accomplished concert pianist, has died. She was 92.
Rogers, who nurtured the memory and legacy of the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” after his 2003 death, died Thursday, according to the Fred Rogers Center. No cause of death was given.
Joanne and Fred Rogers were married for more than 50 years. Joanne, who had her own music career, “was a joyful and tender-hearted spirit, whose laughter and kindness will be deeply missed,” the Fred Rogers Center said in a Facebook post, calling her a “trusted anchor whose heart and wisdom have guided our work in service of Fred’s enduring legacy.”
After Fred Rogers’ death, Joanne Rogers helped develop the Fred Rogers Center Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at St. Vincent College in his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Born Sara Joanne Byrd in 1928, she met her future husband at Rollins College in Florida.