Mary Ellen Johnson Rogers, 80, died Oct. 11, 2012, peacefully in her sleep, at her home in Corvallis, of pancreatic cancer.
Mary Ellen was born Jan, 29, 1932, to John Nephi and Sarah Margaret Callahan Johnson of Spanish Fork, Utah. She was the youngest of 11 children, and was proud of her Icelandic/Irish heritage.
She grew up in Spanish Fork, graduated high school in 1950, then went into the U.S. Air Force. After basic training, she was sent to George AFB, in California, where she was trained in the hospital as a nurse’s aide. Her favorite job was working with babies.
While at George AFB, she met William (Bill) Rogers Jr. They married April 17, 1951, in her brother’s home in Spanish Fork. As an Air Force wife, her life was an adventure from then until Bill’s retirement on Sept. 1, 1969. They were stationed at Amarillo AFB, Lackland AFB, and James Connally AFB, all in Texas, McClellan AFB and Mather AFB in California; Forbes AFB in Kansas; Lincoln AFB in Nebraska; Plattsburgh AFB in New York, Dyes AFB in Texas, and Norton AFB in California. They had celebrated 61 years of marriage.
Upon retirement, they moved to their property at Vida, and after 25 years, to Brookings-Harbor. At Vida, they raised filberts and cattle and she learned to work with both. As a city girl, she had never worked with cattle, but once, while Bill was gone, she helped to deliver a calf to a cow that had problems. That cured her of her fear of cattle!
Except for the filberts and three Oregon legislative sessions where she worked in Salem as a floor secretary for Bill, Mary Ellen was a full-time housewife and mother to her three children.
After 15 years in Harbor, they bought a home in Corvallis to be near children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a good hospital and medical community. She was a member of Grant Avenue Baptist Church.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, 10 brothers and sisters, and her son Dennis Michael Rogers, who lived three days. Because of her strong Christian faith, she was looking forward to seeing them in Heaven.
She is survived by her husband; son William (Bill) Rogers III of Tigard; daughters Kerrie Lynn Parrish and husband Kirk of Toledo, and Colleen Jeanette Jager and husband Eric of Boise. She is also survived by three grandsons, one granddaughter, three great-grandsons, and three great-granddaughters.
She will be buried with military honors, at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Grant Avenue Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Benton Hospice or Grant Avenue Baptist Church building fund.
Arrangements under the direction of McHenry Funeral Home, 206 NW Fifth St., Corvallis, OR 97330; 541-757-8141.
McHenry Funeral Home.