Remembering Joanne Rogers: Friends of Joanne talk about her legacy that reaches beyond Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH —Joanne Rogers embodied kindness while out volunteering, on the red carpet, and celebrating the legacy of her husband of more than 50 years, Fred Rogers.

The 92-year-old died on Thursday. A devastating loss for those in the Pittsburgh-area and beyond.

“The world is a little less fun now without Joanne in it,” said Paul Siefken. “Joanne Rogers is a very special, very wonderful person.”

Siefken is the CEO of Fred Rogers Productions. He shared a picture of him and Mrs. Rogers from 2018 at the unveiling of a U.S. Postal stamp honoring Mr. Rogers, who died in 2003.

“After Fred’s passing she showed the world that she was an amazing person,” he said. “She’s had a chance to kind of introduce herself to America and I think America really fell in love with her.”

David Newell played Mr. McFeely on the show that aired first in 1968. Newell said he, Joanne and Fred were friends for more than 50 years.

“She was Joanne in her own way,” he said. “When you talked to her you were getting the real person and the same with Fred.”

He received a phone call on Thursday that Mrs. Rogers had died.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Newell said.

He said the Rogers were a part of his family. He shared what he will miss most about the woman who lit up every room she entered.

“What I’ll miss is her sense of humor and how much fun she used to have,” Newell said.

Source: Remembering Joanne Rogers: Friends of Joanne talk about her legacy that reaches beyond Pittsburgh