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Leonora V. Rogers
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Obituary for Leonora V. Rogers

Born in Mansourah, Egypt in January 4, 1918, Leonora V. Rogers was the daughter of a hydraulic engineer in charge of irrigation from the Nile, building the lower Aswan dam and the Delta barrages. Her family was deeply involved in the arts, which was to become her passion. Leonora attended English boarding schools during her childhood, where she excelled in art. She was professionally trained in art at a school in Exeter, England, where she received awards in watercolor and architectural drawing.

After graduating from art school she took flight lessons at the Exeter Airport for the Civil Air Guard. It didn’t take long for Lee and her handsome instructor, John Exel Rogers, to fall in love. He was training women pilots to fly, so they could fly transport missions for the RAF. They were married in 1939 just before WW2. In 1940 John and Leonora were sent to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to help train pilots for WW2.

Shortly after the birth of their son, Alan, in 1941 they returned to Britain on a troop ship and John flew with the RAF Pathfinders over Germany. In 1949 the family, which now included daughters, Anthea and Pauline, returned to Rhodesia where Leonora ran a hotel in the Vumba mountains, started a chain of stores in the Bindura area of which helped the local farmers grind and market their maize crops.

In the 1960s the family immigrated to the USA. Alan to study at MIT in Massachusetts, Leonora and John to Iowa where John, who had built his own satellite tracking station in Africa, joined James Van Allen’s research group at the University of Iowa. Leonora continued her painting and joined the Raphael Club in Iowa City.

In 1979 they retired in Hillsborough, North Carolina where Leonora did volunteer work at the Orange County Historical Society. She helped turn the floor above the historical display into an area for artists to display their work, a month at a time. Leonora arranged for the monthly art shows to be advertised in local publications, as well as receptions for patrons to meet the artists. Following twenty years of selfless volunteering she retired in Jan. 2005, at the age of 87, to much acclaim, and a showing of her own art work. In 2001 Leonora published a book “So Turn the Years” of poetry containing 81 poems she had written over the years.

Leonora leaves her son, Alan and his wife Louise and two grandchildren, Heather and David; her daughter, Anthea and her husband John Craven and grandchildren, Sarah and her husband Chris and Colin and his wife Chanda and great-granddaughter, Rosie; and her daughter, Pauline and her husband Baird Grimson.

A funeral service will be held 2 p.m., Monday, February 19, at St Matthew Episcopal Church in Hillsborough. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her memory can be made to Hospice of Alamance County, 914 Chapel Hill Rd, Burlington, NC 27215.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. in Hillsborough. Online condolences may be made at www.clementsfuneralservice.com

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Leonora V. Rogers, please visit our Tribute Store.


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Hospice of Alamance County

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