Lela Rogers, 76, of Xenia, Illinois, passed away on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, in Lake Wales, Florida, near where she and her husband had enjoyed spending recent winters.
Lela was born on February 28, 1945, in Flora, to Edgar and Winifred Smith. She married James Rogers on December 22, 1963. They had one son, Dan, now of Nashville, Tennessee.
Lela worked tirelessly alongside her husband on their Xenia family farm for many years. One of her favorite examples of having worked hard was that she was proud to have push-mowed the lawn just hours before giving birth to her son. Additionally, she had been employed alongside co-workers and friends at the International Shoe Factory and had served multiple terms as an elected trustee for Xenia Township. She attended the Orchardville Church.
Lela enjoyed the simple things in life including family and great friends. She grew big, beautiful Zinnias and a bountiful vegetable garden on her farm south of Xenia in the summertime. Lela loved to go to yard sales (especially when accompanied by her good friend Lynn Wesner) and public auctions, and her family and friends will enjoy some of her “finds” for years to come. She loved country music, particularly her very favorite, Loretta Lynn. She enjoyed listening to Nashville’s WSM Radio and the Grand Ole Opry. She kept her radio on all night, every night. Lela kept loved ones’ memories alive by using their recipes to prepare favorite foods including zucchini cake, chicken and noodles, and refrigerator pickles. Lela never met a banana split she didn’t like.
Throughout her life, Lela championed the underdog. If she thought someone was being left out, she befriended him or her.
Even when faced with Parkinson’s Disease over the last few years, Lela always looked out for others more than herself. Among those who will miss that concern are her husband and son; a sister: Gail Lewis of Iuka; a sister-in-law: Carolyn Smith of Xenia; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law: Don and Shirley Rogers of Sullivan; her mother-in-law: Elizabeth Rogers of Flora; and extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother Mike; and others including her beloved Aunt Mic.
A celebration in Clay County honoring Lela will be scheduled for next spring. Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora is assisting the family. Memorial donations are suggested to Orchardville Church (ochurch.com) to assist with its summer camp program and will be accepted through the funeral home. To share a memory or condolence visit: www.frankandbright.com