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Mary's Story

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Mary Will Webb Rogers, 103, former First Lady of Knoxville (1965-'72), went to be with the Lord Aug. 1, 2016, at Cumberland House Hospice, Crossville. Mrs. Rogers was preceded in death by husband, Leonard R. Rogers; father and mother, Elmer and Tennie Hoskins Webb; brother and sister-in-law, Boyd R. and Evelyn Webb; sister and brother-in-law, Harriett and Irby Y. Cox; daughter, Shirlene Rogers; and son-in-law, Jack Reeves.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Fred W. Lewis, daughter, Janice Reeves; grandson, Shane Lewis and wife Angelina; granddaughters, Jacquelyn Reeves, Merrie Smith and husband Andy, Rachel Hagelin and husband Chris; great grandsons, Stanford Lewis, Lucas Hagelin and Jonah Hagelin, as well as many special nephews and nieces.
Mary Will Rogers had a long and abundant life. She enjoyed singing solos and in ensembles and choirs from 1921 until two evenings before her passing. Her profession was as a school teacher with the Knox County School System in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, concluding with 15 years as a math teacher at Young High School. Mary Will was an excellent athlete who played soft ball in junior high, basketball in high school, and learned tennis, badminton, horseback riding and golf which she played from 1965 to 2010 (making two holes-in-one!). She learned to drive an automobile at the age of 12 and continued to drive until she was 98.
Mary Will was a devout Christian from childhood to her passing. She was active in and a member of First Baptist Church, Knoxville (as a choir soloist, Sunday school teacher, nursery worker and deacon's wife) from 1931 until 1982, when she and Mr. Rogers moved to Fairfield Glade, TN, and became active members in First Baptist Fairfield Glade. For the six years that she lived in assisted living, Mary Will worshipped by television each Sunday with First Baptist Church, Knoxville.
Mrs. Rogers last years were greatly blessed by the love and kindnesses she received from the administrators, activities directors, nurses, caregivers and dietitians of Cumberland Ridge Assisted Living Center who became family to her. A Celebration of Life for Mrs. Rogers will be held Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at 11 a.m. at Berry Funeral Home, 3704 Chapman Highway, Knoxville. Graveside to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Knoxville. Receiving of friends will be Friday, Aug. 5, at the funeral home from 6 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to First Baptist Church, Knoxville, First Baptist Fairfield Glade or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be offered at www.berryfuneralhome.com.
Published on  August 3, 2016
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