My Story

Video below (A fun video that Jean’s kids put together for her 75th birthday)

Jean’s story is written below both video’s below.

Go to 8:11 for the start of the action!

45 years ago when we were moving from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, I thought that being married, having kids, a few cars and nice house, were all the things that would make me happy. I tried being in control of my life, but this wasn’t fulfilling me.  I had a hole in my heart and was searching for more.

Bill & Jean got married in Pittsburgh, Pa., 1966

Our house in Mariemont

God stripped everything from me when we moved from Pittsburgh to the Village of Mariemont, a small community in Cincinnati. Even with moving away from family, friends and all that was familiar, I still wanted to be in control of my life in my new setting.

Back to front: Mom, Al, Janet-sister, Bill, Glen, Gary, Russ-nephew and Greg

An article when I volunteered

Mariemont, was a beautiful, family friendly community that had parks, small shops, schools, library, swim club, town square and a local Church.  I got familiar with my new community and also made connections with others, especially a group of women who  were like mother figures to me.  They encouraged me  to attend a Bible study.  That’s when I met my dear friend, June Karassik, who introduced me to a book called Power in Praise, by Merlin Carothers.  As I was finishing one of the chapters about the gift of eternal life, I made the decision to receive this gift. Instead of wanting to be in control, I yielded my life to the Lord and turned everything over to Jesus. This was my defining “Check Your Game” moment in life.  I thought it would be easy, but it was hard to give up control.  John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  The Bible had become my guide and handbook for living as a new Christian.

Bill was out of town when I made this decision, and when he came back from his trip, I asked him, “do I look different?” He didn’t think so.  I knew I was on the inside even though it wasn’t apparent to him.

I remember seeing color like I’ve never seen before. The trees were greener and the skies bluer.  I also viewed people in a new light that I didn’t have before. I remember looking at people that were disheveled or weren’t “beautiful” and thought that these people had value and beauty.

It was in 1974 when I became a Christian, and it has changed my life forever.  It was my defining moment, and though not always easy, it was the best choice.

Friends and Family

Celebrating Thanksgiving

The house before we moved to The Villages in Milford, Ohio


After 2 years of living in the The Villages, Florida, we decided to move. Bill and I were praying about where to go and decided to build a house in the Village of Hemingway. We were so excited.  The setting was beautiful.  Our backyard looked onto the 6th tee that was surrounded by the rolling hills, a big pond, and many large trees.

One of the large Oak trees that was 40 yards away, was the perfect home for many animals that included a couple of owl families over the years.  When the second owl family moved to the tree I decided to name the owl family members Ozzie, Harriet and baby Ricky.  As I watched Ricky mature and grow under the direction of his parents, I was reminded of being a mother to my kids.  This was touching, and brought many reminders of our family.  Ricky, eventually left his nest for good.

Years later, after the owl family left, Bill made a call to the Villages after seeing branches falling.  A decision was made out of the safety for the golfers to cut down the dying tree. After spending 8 years at our new home, the landscape changed in an instant.  This was very difficult for me.  I cried as I watched the tree, branch by branch, get taken down.  For some reason, change has not been easy.

Bill and I enjoyed our lifestyle here in The Villages, Florida, often by playing golf, eating out, visiting friends etc. but another change would affect all of this.  In 2017, he was diagnosed with a Leukemia condition.   This altered our lifestyle as we began traveling to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa for clinical trial appointments and cancer treatments.  But even with these changes, Bill and I continued to trust in the Lord.

I have always been consistent to pray over the years, but during this period, I prayed relentlessly for healing.  On the other hand, when Bill prayed, he asked to be a witness for Jesus. I didn’t like this. It sounded as if he didn’t want the healing that I was praying for.  It was troubling for me until one day I had a surreal and supernatural experience that only God could give. God gave me two words;  mouthpiece and faithfulness.  I clung to these words not realizing what exactly they meant.  But I realize now that it was God speaking to me and that I was going to be a mouthpiece for God’s faithfulness.  He has done that for me.

In Bill’s weakened state, he managed to plan a Rogers’ family reunion at our son Greg’s Lake Norris house that included 15 of us.  There were our four sons (Greg, Gary, Glen and Grady), four daughter-in-laws (Jill, Tami, Dawn and Lara), and 5 grandchildren (Kelsey, Ashley, Benjamin, Andrew and Brandon).

Bill praying on October 13th, 2019 after watching Dr. David Jeremiah Church Service at the Lake Norris houseIt was on this special weekend where we celebrated our early Thanksgiving and Kelsey’s high-school graduation.  God allowed the perfect weekend to take place before Bill’s last days.  On the return trip home to Florida, we stopped in Atlanta because he wasn’t feeling well.  Bill passed at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on October 16, 2019 with me at his bedside. He went to his Eternal and Heavenly home.  Revelations 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Since we had been living in the Villages, I had been a part of a Bible Study where 50-100 women would show up on a weekly basis for many years.  I was in charge of welcoming the women, making announcements and would pray before the study began.  For 2 years as Bill was getting worse, I remember thinking how hard it was for me to carry out my responsibilities.  I was grieving during this time as I could see Bill going downhill quickly.  After some time when Bill passed, I was reminded of a verse about the “Peace that passes all understanding.”

When I start to think that life is all about me, I realize it isn’t.  God has given me His strength and ability to withstand all the changes that have taken place.  I am grateful that friends and family could see that God was helping me.  I have continued to walk with Jesus even through some of the hardest changes.

I now realize how Bill is being used as a witness and how I am a mouthpiece for God’s faithfulness.  I am thankful that Jesus is in control of my life.  I hope you are encouraged by my story.

If interested, feel free to find out more about Bill by clicking the picture below.

Psalm 91 and Phillipians 1:21 were Bill’s favorite scriptures

Phillipians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Jean has Nominated (N) or Introduced (I) the following:

  1. Bobbie Brecher
  2. Char Innis

My Advice

My advice for others is to relinquish control to Jesus and let him come into your heart. He will make changes that are supernatural. Change is not easy as we grow accustom to things. But when we grow in our Faith and trust God, scripture says that God works all things together for good for those who love him in Romans 8. Even though I had a fear of Bill passing, I'm experiencing God's presence and helping me with every decision and challenge that comes my way.

This is my story and my journey. Everyone has a book and there comes a time for new chapters. In my new chapter of being a widow, we can either fight it, be mad, angry or scared. I decided to trust in God and not feel sorry for myself. I didn’t want to be bitter, mad or complain. I wanted to have peace in God’s presence with all relationships. My sister has even told me that I was her inspiration and hope I can be for you too.


I am so thankful that I get to encourage others through your story, as well as Dad's too. When I saw how strong you were when I arrived at the hospital on October 16th in the early hours of the morning, I could see that God's presence was near. Even though it might not make sense to others about how Peaceful you were, we both knew that is was only through God in your life. I have continued watching you be strong for our family as well as others. Your story is one of Faithfulness and Hope. I am encouraged by you, your story, and look forward to seeing the impact you continue to have in this lifetime. Mom, you have been an amazing Mom to your boys and we love you so much. Thanks again for your humility and transparency to share your story. "your favorite son" Gary

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Dawn Rogers says:

Jean, you are truly an inspiration. Thanks for letting God work in your life and sharing God’s unconditional love with others. So blessed to see how God continues to use you!

Ryan Paul says:

Jean (Mrs. Rogers) – You have always been an incredibly positive and inspiring influence on me, your family and community. Thank you for sharing your story. And Happy Birthday Weekend! I hope you are treating yourself to a batch of your delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Jill says:

I loved how you said you saw color like you never had before & had a love for people you never had before, once Jesus came into your heart! It’s been amazing to watch the strength & peace Jesus has given you the moment Bill went to Heaven. There is no denying God has gifted you with this because we saw the sadness & fear when he was still here. God is so loving & so good & you are being His mouthpiece. Thank you for being so faithful to you Lord & Savior which is a great example to all of us. Love, Jill

Katie Karassik DiDonato says:

Jean I have to laugh as my friend group ages and begins to talk about choosing the same nursing home. You and mom had a good plan going! (I asked Katie to break down the message so that I could understand better and this is what she said, “Our Mom’s, both Jean and Mrs. Karassik both planned on living in the same nursing home together- now my friends are proposing the same. It always makes me think of our Mom’s.”) Katie had told me (Gary) that it was one her Mom’s favorite story to tell!

Glen Rogers says:

Mom, what a powerful story of God’s faithfulness! Thank you for being God’s mouthpiece and leading others to follow Christ, including me. You have touched so many lives over the years, and I am so grateful that you continue to seek to love and share Christ with others. You never cease to amaze me with your willingness to serve and love others…cooking meals for friends, organizing birthday parties, leading Bible studies, listening to strangers stories (not sure how you get strangers to do this), making others feel special, and I could go on and on. What a blessing you are to others! I know that the last couple of years have been challenging, but God has developed your faith and character. I’m reminded of James 1, which talks about facing trials so that we can become mature and complete. Your willingness to not feel sorry for yourself speaks volumes of God working in your life. Love you always.

Janet Vlasic says:

This is how I feel about my sister Jean… best friend.

Jean has an energy and an enthusiasm that is infectious and irresistible to everyone around her….even those who don’t know her. She always had a way of drawing people to her.

All the years growing up I cannot remember hearing a cross word or having an argument. We shared the same bedroom and the only issue that comes to mind is that she had an annoying habit of tossing her clothes on a chair in our bedroom rather than hang them up in the closet. Wow….not much to get angry about! After we married, we always stayed in touch even when we lived in different states. We could have been twins, though we did not look alike, our thoughts were always similar.

Jean liked to be busy and involved. The best part was that she did everything well….whether it was sports, volunteering, entertaining, or cooking. I remember when she decided to have a circus in our back yard. She and her friends were the circus acts! She prepared that event for days. The only people who attended were our parents and me!

Even though time went on after she and Bill married, Al and I always stayed close. Family dinners were a favorite, vacationing, getting together with Greg, Gary, Grady, Glen, Russell and Ryan…lots of entertaining at each other’s house, until Bill got ill. Things were changing with Bill as well as Jean too. Her only focus now was her dedication to serving Bill, as she always served the Lord. She never complained or gave up hope. Something I shall never ever forget was watching Jean’s face as she looked deep into Bill’s eyes asking if he needed anything. What I saw that particular day was so touching. It also told me what I always knew, that she was a special person and touched by God.

She continues to live her life with grace, dignity, and faith. Now she is serving others. I love you Jean!!

Kristin Nelson says:

Jean, I feel as if I have known and loved you for years!! Your servant heart and kindness shines bright through your entire family and especially “your favorite son” Gary!! Thank you for sharing your story, thank you for inspiriting me and thank you for building God’s Kingdom!!

Billy Southerland says:

Wow! I just finished reading this and have tears in my eyes and chills all over. What a beautiful testimony Jean to our God! I am so thankful for the witness you both have been to me as a young man leading Young Life. I’m so thankful for the way you have raised your amazing sons. What a blessing to know you, and praise God for the life that He offers us. Gary, keep doing your thing! You are inspiring others by posting these stories and giving people like your mom to be the mouthpiece God has called her to be. Thankful to call you friend !!

Suzanne Southerland says:

Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing your beautiful life story. Your words are so encouraging and your faithfulness to the Lord is inspiring and powerful. Thank you for loving all of us, even my crazy husband, over the years!

MaryAnn (Boots) McCosby says:

Jean, you are the dearest of friends and those few years in Franklin Park, PA have not faded from my memory. We connected almost immediately as I had my eighth child and you were expecting your first son, Greg. God blessed our friendship as we both learned to have a deeper love, acceptance, trust and belief in Him and His gift to us.

Jean Rogers says:

Thank you my dear and sweet friend. You are a lifetime blessing to me. Grateful for all the beautiful memories. 😘 Love you! Jean

Johnny Clark says:

Thank you Mrs. Rogers. We love Gary and now we know why! He is a good man and clearly you and your husband live on in him. May God bless you and keep you.

Gary Rogers says:

Johnny, that is so nice of you to say! My Mom is a great lady. Thanks for sharing.

Val Smith says:

What an amazing story and family!
Feel like I know you Jean, although I’m across the pond in little Britain.
Have a wonderful Birthday weekend 😊

Peggy Bodde says:

I’ve read your story more than once, Jean, and find it moving and inspiring each time. What a powerful testimony and what tender strength you have. Thank you for sharing your story. I see a legacy of faith in Gary!

Cate Leach says:

Love this sweet journey of life you have shared here. Your light shines!

What a beautiful testimony for God, Jean. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s evident that you are a great strength for others during their trials. That’s such a great quality in a mom and I pray that my kids continue to lean on me,like your kids do you.

Your story of faithfulness to God provides so much hope for those of us who have never lost a spouse. I can’t imagine your pain in that situation. Thank God he gave you peace and hope when you were enduring that season. And now, being a widow, your faithfulness shines through in the story you wrote. You have confidence knowing God is with you, and that you are not alone.

I’m truly impressed by the love in your family I witnessed on your birthday videos. What a blessing you are to your sons, and your sons to you. May God continue to show you his faithfulness. I’m so glad to have connected with you. Thank you for sharing such a sweet and encouraging note about my story. We have a great God who can do anything, and who is there with us no matter our trial. God bless you Jean!

Jean what a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness to your willingness to let go & learn more about the deeper life in Christ! Thank you for your picture’s of your family which reminds me of all the wonderful Thanksgivings & Christmas together over the food & laughter! Your son, Gary is one of my new friend’s who interviewed me on Change Your Game.

To Jean Rogers,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I know how difficult it is to lose your husband after many years. Your son, Gary, is a reminder that a loving husband and father are critical for all children. God bless you and your family!

I knew Gary had to come from a special kind of Mom, with a special kind of son. Recognizing there was an emptiness and knowing to reach out for God, it brought you eternal peace. A Christian mother is the rock of every family, and many husbands find Christ through their wife. When they see the peace that shines, they began to want it. I find your story with abundantly love, and in helping others to find their way. We all have a purpose, it may seem little or large, but when God shows us, then we must step out on faith and follow. Amen, Hallelujah!!!

Katie Rudolph says:

May God bless you and keep you, Jean! Amen to your story of strength and perseverance! I agree, we must surrender everything over to Jesus and trust.