Priscilla Iris Pennington Rogerson passed peacefully in her sleep on December 4, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, FL. She was 90.

Priscilla Iris Pennington Rogerson passed peacefully in her sleep on December 4, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, FL. She was 90.

How to distill the life of this extraordinary woman? A Florida native, she lived globally. She read novels and biographies, national and local newspapers, The New Yorker and LIFE Magazine with equal interest. Passionate about music and dance and theater, favorites were Ella Fitzgerald, Cleo Laine, Marian McPartland, Bobby Short, and Patsy Cline; Rudolph Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, and Mikhael Baryshnikov; Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, and Meryl Streep. A fervent believer in equal rights, she kept abreast of current events and politics her whole life.

Born April 30, 1929 in Miami, Florida to Eva Iris (Turner) and Clyde Hargraves Pennington, Priscilla (or PIP, as she was known) grew up in Coral Gables, and graduated from Miami High. (In the MIAHI yearbook, “Class Editor Priscilla Pennington” was named a promising Pulitzer prize winner.) In June 1950, two weeks after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in public administration, she married her high school sweetheart, John (Jack) T.
Rogerson, Jr.

Early in their marriage, a mutual love of Broadway musicals and a spirit of adventure inspired Priscilla and Jack to drive from Florida to New York City on a Saturday to see Ethel Merman in Annie Get Your Gun or Gertrude Lawrence in The King and I, then back to Florida the following day.

In the late 1950s, her husband joined the Foreign Service, and Priscilla found herself, at age 27 and with two small children, in Tehran, Iran, the wife of a diplomat. She remembered her years there as some of the most intellectually and socially stimulating of her life. She worked closely with the Vice Ambassador’s wife on urban planning and other projects; she met Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Kennedy; she volunteered with a close friend who opened the first orphanage for girls in Tehran; and she was part of a team who helped care for victims of several earthquakes. She visited Isfahan, Shiraz, and Tabriz, among other cities, and enjoyed several family vacations at the Caspian Sea.

In the mid-1960s, the Foreign Service took Jack, Priscilla, and their now-three children to Monterrey, Mexico. After Jack retired from the Foreign Service, the family moved to Keuka Lake, one of New York’s Finger Lakes, and winterized a Rogerson family cottage, where they lived for the next 20-plus years. After her fourth child started school, Priscilla went to work in the reading room at Hammondsport Central School, helping many students discover the joys of reading. She also worked as the Hammondsport Librarian. Several of her closest and longest-standing friendships blossomed during those years.

In her 60s, after her divorce, Priscilla lived first with her daughter Susan in New York City, then with her son, John, in Jacksonville, FL. When daughter Barbara decided to move from NYC to Jacksonville a few years later, Priscilla flew to New York and drove the U-Haul, with Barbara, furniture, and two cats in tow, back to Florida. The next two decades were filled with adventures. She volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Georgia, where Jimmy Carter occasionally taught Sunday school. She drove cross-country with a friend and visited Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico studio. She traveled to New Zealand and Tahiti with Barbara; she and her daughter PK visited their dear friends, Mike and Rita Moretti, in Provence, France. Her last trip abroad, at age 82, was to Dublin, Ireland with PK and granddaughter, Tegan.

In her early 80s, Priscilla moved with her daughter Barbara and son-in-law Butch to North Carolina… but her heart was in Florida. Her final move was to Port St. Lucie, FL, where she lived for the six remaining years of her life, the last three in a nursing home, her beloved aide, Carol West, by her side. Of all her accomplishments, she said she most wanted to be remembered for how much she loved her
children.

Priscilla is survived by her four children, Priscilla K. Rogerson, John T. Rogerson III (Leah), Barbara Peiker (Butch), and Susan Pondish (Chris); grandchildren Tegan, Aaron (Jennifer), Ashley, and Adam; greatgrandchildren Joel, Rhys, and Chloe; and niece, Lisa Bartlett (Marc Mason). At her request, her ashes will be buried in her family plot in Miami, FL, in a ceremony to be held in the spring of 2020.

If anyone wishes to donate in her memory, here are four organizations dear to her heart and important to senior health and wellbeing. Please be sure to specify Priscilla P. Rogerson (with her middle
initial).

Search and Care https://www.searchandcare.org/donate/ Habitat for Humanity https://www.habitat.org/support
/honor-memorial-gifts Southern Poverty Law Center https://donate.splcenter.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1367 Alzheimer’s Foundation of America https://alzfdn.org/support-us/donate/.