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Mr. Roger's Wife Joanne: What's Her Story?

Gettyimages | Frederick M. Brown
By Suzanne Rothberg

Fred Roger's widowed wife of 50 years, was a pianist until 2008. Her husband died of stomach cancer in 2003.

Joanne is still alive today celebrating her husband's memory and legacy. They met in Rollins College in Jacksonville, Florida. They were married in 1952. They have two sons: James Rogers and John Rogers.

Mrs. Rogers also earned a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College. She later earned a master’s in music from Florida State University. She performed publicly from 1976 to 2008 with classmate Jeannine Morrison. She said that she didn’t do much work with her piano playing until her sons were older. ” I think it’s important that children growing up should see that their parents have other interests,” she said.

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What Joanne Rogers Thinks About The Film Tribute to Her Husband


Joanne went to the premiere of "A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood" starring Tom Hanks on November 20. It was an emotional tribute to her husband. So what does Mrs. Rogers think of the film? She approved it and told Page Six, "I think he would have loved it too, don't you?"

"I am very happy with the movie, I'm very happy. They were concerned when they started to make it because the documentary was out. Maybe it was too much of the same thing. They realized it's a nice package." She told the Chicago Tribune.

"A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood" Is A Beautiful Tribute to Mr. Rogers

Gettyimages | Mike Coppola

The film was a loving tribute to Mr. Rogers. It opens today. I heard so far it's a success and doing very well in theaters.

Joanne commented about Fred's last 25 years. "I couldn’t help getting caught up in Fred’s world. For the last twenty-five years of his life, everywhere we went, people would come up to him to say hello. He loved hearing their stories. One of the worst jobs was moving him along in a crowd! Everyone wanted to talk to him. And he loved their stories. He would just keep asking questions so he could get to know more about them.”

In Memory of Fred Rogers


Mr. Rogers would be proud of his tribute film. If he only knew that it's a sheer coincidence that Tom Hanks who's playing him is actually his sixth cousin! If Fred Rogers were alive today, wouldn't it be interesting if they met each other?

Joanne said that Fred was her best friend according to a TedTalk interview. She called him, "Rodge!"

She calls herself, 'Pittsburgh's luckiest widow' She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania.

“He is just there,” she said of Mister Rogers. “I don’t have to give up all of him. And, you know, thank goodness. I’m just fortunate.”

She also makes a cameo appearance in "A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood." She agreed to appear in a scene at The Mandarin Gourmet Restaurant in Downtown Pittsburgh. Fittingly, she and her husband loved Chinese food.

The film opens today, Nov. 22.

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