(Senate - April 17, 2013)

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[Page S2746]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS



 Mr. BEGICH. Mr. President, today I wish to honor and remember 
Mrs. Jean Clark Rogers. Mrs. Rogers died on February 20 at the age of 
93 in the home designed by her beloved late husband George. Her 
daughter, Sidney, was by her side.
  Jean became an Alaska treasure who enriched the territory and State 
for over 65 years. Mother to six adopted children, she was also a 
celebrated children's book author, an educator, a volunteer, and a 
passionate friend of the arts.
  With savings from her first job as a fifth-grade teacher, Jean Clark 
enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley. There she met and 
married the love of her life, George Rogers. In 1945, after completing 
their degrees, they set sail for Juneau where George had a job with the 
U.S. Office of Price Administration.
  From the time she arrived in Juneau, Jean Clark Rogers made an 
impact. An avid reader, she was also a talented writer who authored 
children's books that appealed to both children and adults. Her best 
known work is ``A King Island Christmas,'' on which she collaborated 
with a close friend and well-known Alaskan artist, Rie Munoz. The 
inspirational book describes an extraordinary effort by a small and 
isolated island community to celebrate Christmas in the midst of a 
winter storm. Adapted into a libretto for an oratorio by playwright 
Deborah Brevoort, the work premiered at Juneau's Perseverance Theater 
in 1997 and is still performed throughout the United States. This 
August it will be presented by a Juneau cast at the Fringe Festival in 
Edinburgh, Scotland.
  Literature was so important to Jean that she regularly provided 
animated readings at schools and public libraries. Recognized 
endearingly by children as ``the lady who pushes books,'' she was 
awarded an honorary doctorate of human letters by the University of 
Alaska Southeast in recognition of her contributions to children's 
literacy and literature.
  Jean was a busy author and mother, but she always found time to 
contribute to her State and her community. She served on boards for the 
Alaska Public Offices Commission, the Alaska Public Broadcasting 
Commission, and Juneau's Capital City Broadcasting, Inc.--the KTOO 
family of public stations.
  Jean was an avid supporter of local performing arts groups. She loved 
to sing and added her voice to the St. Paul Singers and the Juneau 
Lyric Opera. Rarely did she miss a performance of the Juneau Symphony, 
Perseverance Theater or Opera to Go. In oversized glasses and colorful 
attire, she stood out in the crowd.
  Most recently, Jean Rogers became a visual artist. At age 87, her 
intricate collages of cut paper were exhibited at the Canvas studio in 
Juneau, where note cards featuring her designs enjoyed brisk sales.
  Despite physical frailties near life's end, Jean found joy outside 
her challenges. She would comment on the beauty of the day or how much 
she enjoyed a game of cribbage or dominoes.
  While we mourn the loss of Jean's presence, all things shared by this 
remarkable woman live on.