Mary Eleanor Carmichael was born on July 31, 1920 in Decherd, Tennessee. She declined rapidly after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis and died two days later on November 23, 2020 at the Manor on Bluewater Bay in Niceville Florida where she had been residing. She was 100 years of age. She had lived in Ft. Walton Beach for several decades.
After high school in Knoxville TN she attended Judson College in Alabama, graduating in 1942. During her senior year there, she met Gerald T. (Jerry) Rogers, a young Army airman from New York who was stationed nearby at Craig Field in Selma shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Most of their courtship was carried out through the mail, as he was soon posted first to Panama for jungle warfare training and then to Port Moresby, New Guinea where he flew P39 fighter planes. After being shot down and spending 18 days in the jungle working his way back to his base, he contracted malaria and eventually was re-assigned to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they were married on her birthday in 1943.
Eleanor became a military wife and bore three children, Gordon, Steven, and Terry. After Jerry retired from the USAF in 1966 the family moved to Bangkok, Thailand for several years.
Eleanor was widowed in January 1975. She subsequently began teaching at Rocky Bayou Christian School in Niceville, where she taught for many years until her retirement. She also taught ESL (English as a Second Language) professionally while in Bangkok and as a volunteer back in Florida for many years. She enjoyed traveling and hosting friends and family at her Ft. Walton Beach home. At age 76 she spent a year in Papua New Guinea teaching the children of missionaries there. She was actively involved in Forest Lake Bible Church from its early days until mobility and memory problems hampered her participation, but she attended services when she could almost until the end. Her favorite hymn was “Onward Christian Soldiers”.
She will be buried next to her husband, Jerry, at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola. She is survived by her three children, their spouses, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
A memorial service will be held at Forest Lake Bible Church in Niceville at 2:00 PM Saturday December 5th.
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