Marjorie Jane (Last) Rogers (March 10, 1922 - January 4, 2014)

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Bright sun sparkled on blue water on Marjorie's last day, a day meant for life and full of promise. Surrounded by her family, Marjorie left for her final journey on January 4, 2014, at 91 years young.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922, she moved to Dearborn, Michigan, in 1935 and graduated from Fordson High School, but not before meeting the love of her life, Henry Rogers.

World War II and a two-year bout of tuberculosis interrupted her life but not her passion for Henry, and they married in Dearborn in 1946, raising five children and enjoying 67 years together.

Marjorie began a life of activism and community service exemplified by organizing the women of her church to interact with families of inner-city Detroit after riots in the 1960s, and in 1969, she was honored with Detroit's Heart of Gold Award for her leadership.

Her love of art and music included many family excursions to the Detroit Art Institute as well as becoming a founding member of the Dearborn Symphony.

Marjorie's family life included camping and canoeing trips throughout Michigan, family gatherings at "Grandpa's cottage" on Lake Huron and volunteering with local theater, schools and church.

Her life was full of world travel, active learning, entertaining that would put Martha Stewart to shame and embracing an infectious zest for life that shined until her last day.

The family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1971 with Henry working in the television industry, and a whole new life opened to them. Marjorie returned to complete her college education at the age of 51.

Her degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in art history and cultural anthropology allowed her to pursue an interest in art and its impact on societies by developing educational materials on traditional cultures of the non-Western world.

Marjorie continued her studies in 1981 through 1983 by pursuing a master's degree from James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, where she developed an educational outreach project for the Solomon Islands Museum on Guadalcanal. This project resulted in developing 10 educational trunks of traditional art and cultural objects to be located at schools throughout the Solomon Islands.

Her own personal collection of traditional Solomon Islands art and objects, as well as photographs and documentation of the project, are now housed at the Burke Museum, Seattle, Washington.

Marjorie and Henry retired to Port Hadlock in 1985. Marjorie's extensive skills quickly were put to work on the Jefferson County Historical Society's "Witness to the Last Century" project of documenting the lives of 57 longtime residents. That oral history project is now in the permanent collection of the historical society's library.

She was also instrumental in the creation of H.J. Carroll Park and other community landscaping projects with her membership in the Tri-Area Garden Club.

The Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock benefited from Marjorie's love of learning and the role libraries can play in people's lives.

Marjorie never met a stranger, making friends around the world. She leaves behind many who will miss her energy, joie de vivre and bright, optimistic view of life.

Marjorie's many accomplishments and world full of friends didn't overshadow her love and pride of family.

She leaves behind her best friend and love of her life, Henry; sons Paul (LuAnn) Rogers and Eric Rogers of Port Hadlock; daughters Nancy Rogers and her husband, David Spriggs, both of Petaluma, California, and Catherine Rogers and her husband, Robert Barker, both of Concord, California; and grandchildren Laura May Rogers and Jonny Rogers, both of Port Hadlock, and Sam Scrantom of Hillsboro, North Carolina.

She was preceded in death by son Henry "Buck" Rogers Jr. and brothers Kenneth Last and Donald Last.

A celebration of life will be held at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend, on Saturday, January 25, at 2 p.m.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Friends of Chimacum Schools Education Foundation, http://tinyurl.com/focsefrogers.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Jan. 19, 2014
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