A spokesperson for McFeely-Rogers Foundation, co-founded by Fred Rogers, confirmed to Fox News that she passed away at 12 p.m. on Thursday in her Pittsburgh casa.
The cause of death è “heart issues,” ha detto il portavoce.
Fred Rogers Productions also announced Joanne’s passing on Twitter.
“Fred Rogers Productions is deeply saddened by the passing of Joanne Rogers,” the production said in the dichiarazione. “The loving partner of Fred Rogers for more than 50 anni, she continued their shared commitment to supporting children and families after his death as chair of the board of Fred Rogers Productions.”
In a follow-up message, the company lauded Joanne as “a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to everyone in our organization.”
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joanne’s family and the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her,” the production company said.
Born Sara Joanne Byrd, the musician was a classically trained pianist, according to a biography provided to Fox News.
She met Fred Rogers while attending Rollins College in Florida and married him in 1952. They remained married until his death in 2003 e ha condiviso due figli: James Rogers and John Rogers, secondo Biography.com.
After her time at Rollins, Rogers received a Masters of Music at Florida State University and taught at Chatham College’s Preparatory School and Carlow College.
She was also “involved in Fred Rogers’ first show ‘The Children’s Corner’ on PBS/WQED,” according to her bio.
Inoltre, IMDb states that she appeared in a number of episodes of “Mister Rogers’ Quartiere,” il 2018 documentario “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and she had a cameo in the Tom Hanks-starring flick “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
The city of Pittsburgh, dove “Mister Rogers’ Quartiere” was produced, also released a statement of mourning.
“One of #Pittsburgh’s favorite neighbors. Joanne & Fred forever changed our city,” the city wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for your dedication to @FredRogersPro, @wqed, our children, & our community.”