Beverly “Bea” Rodgers, 84, of St. Joseph, passed away, Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at her home.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date due to the Covid-19 precautions. Memorial donations in Bea’s name may be made to the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan or Meals on Wheels of Benton Harbor. Those wishing to sign Bea’s memory book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
Bea was born August 17, 1935 in South Bend, Indiana to Walter & Leone (Harper) Boigegrain. She graduated from Riley High School in South Bend, class of 1953, and DePauw University in 1957 where she studied pre-law and music. She was the only woman in the pre-law classes and became friends with another minority student, Vernon Jordan, who was the only African American on campus. She met Harry Rodgers in 1958 while teaching together in New Carlisle, Ind. They married May 31, 1959, in South Bend and went on to earn their master’s degrees together at University of South Dakota.
Bea was the research librarian at Maude Preston-Palenske Library in St. Joseph, and after retirement she became the director of the Sodus Township Library for several years. As a librarian she was also a teacher figure – helping many students with research and writing papers. She enjoyed helping area lawyers with research for information they were needing and also helping John E.N. Howard research the information to write his program notes for the weekly Municipal Band concerts.
Bea was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and the Order of the Eastern Star. Bea studied piano and organ and her children grew up listening to her playing piano and singing. She was the former organist at Scottdale United Methodist Church in St. Joseph and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in South Bend. She sang in several ladies ensembles and church choirs.
She was a very giving and caring woman, quietly donating both time and money to many charities and organizations. Bea enjoyed traveling and camping with her family – especially visiting historical sights. Baking was her therapy and her way of creating traditions with her family. The neighborhood knew fresh cookies were always available. She loved her flower and vegetable gardens, knitting, sewing, reading, listening to WFMT, and crossword puzzles, as well as visiting Sandra Kay’s Bakery.
Watching and feeding the birds around her home became a priority in her life and we thank her caregivers who faithfully filled her many feeders regularly.
Bea is survived by her children: Lucinda (Richard) Schultz of Borden, Ind., Harry (Kathy) Rodgers of Traverse City, Mich., Debbie Rodgers of Annapolis, Md., Meg (Chris Mustell) Rodgers of Stevensville; two grandchildren – Chloe and Isabelle Lawrence; her sister-in-law Patricia Boigegrain of Denver; and her loving canine companions – Max and Banner. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry, on Jan. 14, 2017, her parents, and siblings-Walter Boigegrain and Doris Gray.
Bea enjoyed glorious days, sunsets and music. To all she helped along her journey: Make an A!