Margaret Patterson Rogers, mother and minister’s wife, danced into the heavenly celebration of Palm Sunday, on March 28, 2021. We are thankful she is rejoicing in the resurrection celebration, and free from earthly pains.
Margaret was born April 11, 1939, into the family of Elizabeth Lake Patterson and Grady Siler Patterson of Wake Forest. She was the youngest of four children.
Growing up in the town of Wake Forest as the daughter of the Wake Forest College registrar, Margaret, then known as Peggy, at the age of 14, met William Boyd Rogers, or Bill, a student at the college. Her parents allowed Bill to court her because her father and Bill’s father had been classmates and friends at Wake Forest. In 1956, Peggy married Bill when she was 17, and they moved to the new campus of Wake Forest College in Winston-Salem, where he entered law school and she began studies as an undergraduate. However, their first child, Dorothy, was born during Bill’s first year of law school when Peggy was 18 years of age, so her college studies were derailed. After Bill’s graduation Peggy returned with him to his hometown of Tabor City where he practiced law. By the age of 24, Peggy had three small children, Boyd and Betsy joining the family in those early years. Peggy became the mother of four by the age of 32 when James joined the family.
Around 1962, Peggy and Bill’s home caught fire in the middle of the night. Peggy awoke smelling smoke, and the family managed to exit before the house burned to the ground. Peggy always believed she was awakened to the danger by God. Two years later, Bill felt a call into ministry, and Peggy shared the same sense of calling. That devotion to God and sense of calling allowed her to leave the beautiful home they had built and lived in barely a year. Only a sense of shared ministry could prepare and enable her to live in a cramped married student apartment with three small children while supporting Bill’s studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.
As homemaker and mother of four children, Margaret supported Bill’s ministry in five churches: Bullock Baptist Church, Ridge Road Baptist Church (Raleigh), First Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro and First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock. She also supported Bill’s service at the United Church of Christ of Boone. Margaret’s contributions to ministry were beautiful soprano solos and choir participation, as well as ministering to others through prayer.
The author, Cornelius Plantinga, of “Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be,” might have benefited from consulting with Peggy in penning his book because she clearly understood how short of perfection and heaven this earthly existence is. She was plagued by her own imperfections, and frustrated by the inadequacies of life.
Our mother was beautiful, but in her eyes, never beautiful enough, although she was chosen as Miss Wake Forest at the age of 16.
In high school, she created a beautiful display of eight floral cut-outs, similar to Matisse’s drawing with scissors, but abandoned handcrafted arts because of the messiness. She was an accomplished pianist, having studied piano for nine years, but in her mind, never good enough to perform publicly. She learned to play the organ, but never well enough, in her opinion, for the public.
However, Peggy’s lyrical soprano voice soared, and she blessed others in worshipful solos. Some of her favorite solos were: His Eye is On the Sparrow, Great is Thy Faithfulness, The Lord’s Prayer, a Soprano Aria in Handel’s Messiah, There’s Something About that Name, and Sweet Little Jesus Boy. In fact, one Christmas Eve service, when her grandmother sang a solo, haloed by Christmas lights, her four-year old granddaughter, Rachel, exclaimed, “Daddy, I didn’t know Memawas an angel !”
Her family is grateful that she has arrived in the Perfect Home she always longed for.
Margaret’s husband, Bill, preceded her in death, as did her brother Grady Siler Patterson, Jr, and sister, Bettie Marable Patterson Dowda.
She is survived by her sister, Sarah Patterson Barge and by her children, Dorothy Rogers Adcock (Mark); William Boyd Rogers, Jr. (Susan); Betsy Rogers Russell (Joseph); and James Barclay Rogers (Lisa); grandchildren, Elizabeth Adcock; Rachel Durban (Ben, and great-grandchildren, Eleanor and Daniel); Alex Adcock (Leslie); Jennifer Hofmeister Margolis (Danny); Amanda Russell Ward (Justin); Jennifer Russell (Dasean Willard); and great-grandson, Winston.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, P.O. Box 338, Thomasville, N.C., 27360.
Margaret’s Celebration of Life Service and Burial will be private among family members.
Services are provided by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary’s St., Raleigh; brownwynneraleigh.com.