Joanne Rogers, the widow of TV’s Mr. Rogers, has died at the age of 92, according to Fred Rogers Productions. The couple were married for 50 years before Fred Rogers’s death from stomach cancer in 2003. “Fred relied on Joanne,” Bill Isler, the former president of Fred Rogers Productions, told the Los Angeles Times in 2019. “He would often say that if it wasn’t for Sara Joanne Byrd Rogers, the ‘Neighborhood’ probably would have never happened.” In her own right, Rogers was also a prolific pianist, performing for three decades and recording two albums with her longtime partner Jeannine Morrison. She is survived by her two sons with Fred Rogers, Jim and John.
“Fred Rogers Productions is deeply saddened by the passing of Joanne Rogers,” the organization said in a statement. “The loving partner of Fred Rogers for more than 50 years, she continued their shared commitment to supporting children and families after his death as chair of the board of Fred Rogers Productions. Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to everyone in our organization. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joanne’s family and the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her.”