Helen Elizabeth Rogers
Helen Elizabeth Rogers
Helen Rogers died January 8, 2018 at her home in Scottsdale, AZ.
A proud North Dakota native and longtime Fargoan, Helen was 101 years old. She had been in declining health for several years.
Helen Elizabeth Rorvig was born on January 6, 1917, in Bismarck, ND to Edward Peter Rorvig and Mary Peterson Rorvig. Helen's mother died in 1918 in the great flu epidemic. Helen was subsequently raised in Fargo by her maternal grandparents, Knudt and Anna Hoffland Peterson, and her maternal aunt, Beth Peterson.
Helen graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1934, Stephens College in 1936, and the University of Minnesota in 1938. At the University she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and remained involved with the sorority throughout her life.
It was at the U of M that she met Robert Gifford Rogers, a medical student. They were married in Fargo at Olivet Lutheran Church on November 10, 1939. Dr. Rogers subsequently took a position as a general surgeon at the Dakota Clinic in Fargo. He remained there throughout his medical career and died in 2002.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Mary Kelley of Ledgewood, NJ, son Robert G. Rogers, Jr., of Scottsdale, AZ, five grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.
At the center of Helen's life for many years was the harp. She became infatuated with the musical instrument while a student at Stephen's College, but had to wait until her children had been raised to be able to afford to buy her first Lyon & Healy harp. She took lessons from a well-known Minneapolis harpist and eventually secured a position as harpist for the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 20 years. She played the harp, often with violinists Georgia Goff and Louise Stern, at weddings, church services, and other celebratory occasions. For years, she also taught harp. A highlight for her students was a Christmas season recital that she hosted annually in her home. While in her 80s, regrettably, she slowly became blinded by macular degeneration and was compelled to discontinue her playing and teaching of the harp.
Helen was a caring mother. She was devoted to and proud of her husband and his work. She enjoyed a wide circle of friends in Fargo and was particularly appreciative of the care and support she received throughout her life from close relatives, particularly her father, Ed Rorvig, Beth Peterson, Enoch Peterson, and Lottie and Jimmy Black.
When Helen's husband retired in 1980 she and he spent increasingly long vacations in Scottsdale, AZ. In 1995 they established a second home there. Additionally, they traveled extensively throughout the world, often on ocean cruises.
Helen was raised in a deeply religious household and remained a Lutheran throughout her life. She was a charter member of St. John Lutheran Church in south Fargo.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: 2:00pm, Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, Fargo, ND.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Helen's memory may be made to the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, 808 Third Avenue South, Fargo. ND 58103
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.hansonrunsvold.com
Arrangements by Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home - Fargo, ND