Cover photo for Jean Pepper (Hayes)  Rogers's Obituary
Jean Pepper (Hayes)  Rogers Profile Photo
1928 Jean 2023

Jean Pepper (Hayes) Rogers

November 5, 1928 — October 3, 2023

Escondido, California formerly of Homer and Marshall

Jean Pepper Rogers, passed away on Tuesday, 3 October 2023 in Escondido, California just short of her 95th birthday.

Jean was born in Pioneer, Kentucky on 5 November 1928, to Harvey and Mildred (Pepper) Hayes. She completed her high schooling at and graduated from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky in 1950, majoring in music.  She taught music briefly before marrying Marion Thomas (Tom) Rogers, Jr. in Dayton, Ohio on Christmas Day, 1951.  Their first home was in Dexter, Missouri, where Tom was teaching aerobatics to new Air Force flight students.  Both of their children, daughter Cathy and son Rick, were born there.  They followed Tom’s work to Middletown, Ohio and then to Marshall in 1960.  In addition to being a full-time mother and homemaker, Jean worked at Michigan Air Activities, which she owned with her husband, at Corning Glass Works and later Walters Distributing Co., all in Marshall, as a bookkeeper.  She later served as Executive Director of Marshall United Way until her retirement in 2008.

The family made their home in Homer from 1970 to 1983, where Tom returned to farming, which he knew as a boy.  Jean and Tom began the adventure of a lifetime in 1983 when they moved to Point Mackenzie, Alaska to build a dairy farm from the ground up.  While successful in that undertaking, they decided to return to Marshall in 1995 to spend their golden years among life-long friends.  Tom passed away in Marshall in December 2008.

Jean continued her love of music throughout her life, and was a committed member and frequent soloist in her church choir at Marshall United Methodist Church until she reluctantly gave up singing to enjoy the choir as a service participant at the age of 80.

Jean loved playing games, particularly card games, and was a challenging opponent in multiple bridge groups until she left Marshall for what would be her last visit to California in December 2022.

Jean is lovingly remembered by her sister, Anne Montgomery, of Sierra Madre, California, her daughter Cathy (Jerry) Thomas of Poway, California, her son Rick of Marshall, her stepson Tom of Jamestown, Ohio, two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces.

A memorial gathering of family and friends will take place on Thursday, November 2, 2023 from 1:00 until 3:00 pm at Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services Reception Center 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, Michigan 49068.

The family invites you to express your thoughts and memories in the online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean Pepper (Hayes) Rogers, please visit our flower store.


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