Mary Kidder Rogers, former Oak Bluffs tax collector, died peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. She was 88.
Mary was born on July 10, 1927, in Bridgeport, Conn. At a young age, her family moved to the Vineyard from Connecticut. Mary and her family spent the winter in West Tisbury and the summer in Oak Bluffs.
She graduated from the Tisbury School in 1945, where she met, and later married, her soulmate, Otis A. Rogers. It was on the Vineyard that they built their life, raised their family, and just recently celebrated 69 years of marriage.
During her early years of marriage, she helped provide for her family working at various jobs. In the summer, she waitressed at LaBells restaurant and the Boston House. She and Otis would invite young summer workers over to their house to enjoy their company and to give them a home away from home.
In 1964, she became Oak Bluffs tax collector. Her work meant a great deal to her, and she was well respected in the community. She was not intimidated by technology, and helped to initiate the process of automation in the town. She traveled to UMass Amherst for education in her field, and was certified. Mary was an active member of the Massachusetts Collector and Treasurers Association. She was compassionate to anyone in need, and through her position successfully helped many people with a gentle kindness until her retirement in 1989.
Over the years Mary was an involved member of her church, Trinity Methodist, where she belonged to an active women’s group, the Triniters. This group organized fundraising and provided for church needs.
Mary was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, and is survived by her husband, Otis Rogers, and two children, Russell Rogers and Nancy Giordano and her husband Richard, and grandchildren Daniel Rogers and his wife Kimberly, Leanne Bartkowski and her husband Jeffrey, and Michael Giordano.
Mary spoke with fondness of her days in West Tisbury skating and sledding, and the many friends she had there while enjoying a close-knit community. While most of her time off was devoted to her family, Mary loved the beach, collecting beach plums, and making her jelly and red pepper relish. She and Otis would find their solace in the car. They traveled for many years to Florida on vacation, and met with many of their Island friends. Almost daily, Otis and Mary could be seen on their drives all over the Island, which they affectionately nicknamed sentimental journeys. Her children and grandchildren provided a light in her life. She would spend any time she could with them, and would eagerly attend anything that they were involved in.
During the last years of her life, Otis held steadfast at her side while supervising the group of angels who provided for her needs with dignity, respect, and a great deal of love.
A funeral service for Mary was held Tuesday, Nov. 24, in the Trinity United Methodist Church, Trinity Circle, Oak Bluffs, with the Rev. Richard Rego officiating. Burial followed in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Oak Bluffs. Donations in Mary’s name may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 2580, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011. Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.