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Suzanne Lemons Rogers passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on October 16th, 2018, at Faith Presbyterian Hospice in Dallas, Texas. A memorial will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 20th, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Canyon, Texas.
Suzanne was born in Amarillo, Texas, to Anna Sue Lemons and Walter Ellis Lemons on October 1st, 1940, into a life of farming, ranching and the outdoors. In 1959, she graduated from Canyon High School and, on August 29th of that year, married her high school sweetheart, William Gene Rogers, at First United Methodist Church in Canyon. She graduated from West Texas State University with a B.S. in Education in 1967, while also raising her first two daughters, Tracey and Gena. She worked as a teacher, a preschool director, a bookkeeper, a church organist, a piano teacher and a homemaker.
Suzanne was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1970, one year after the arrival of third daughter, Shelley, but did not let that slow her down. She was involved in T Anchor 4-H, Randall Country Sheriff’s Posse Riding Club, church and youth groups and Top Wings Motorcycle Group. She was also a co-founder and executive director of Winner’s Circle Equitherapy, which provided rehabilitative horseback therapy for hundreds of children and adults challenged by physical and/or developmental delay, and served as Chairman of the Board for Second Chance Foundation.
She received many accolades for her hard work, winning the National Multiple Sclerosis Area II Achievement Award in 1989, the JCPenney Golden Rule Volunteer Award in 1989 and a T-Anchor 4-H Twenty-five Year Award Silver Pendant. She was also recognized by the Amarillo Pilot Club as The Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1992, and named National Multiple Sclerosis Society Mother of the Year in 1992, earning her and her family a trip to the White House to meet President George H. Bush. Her “wing man” in all of these accomplishments was her husband and best friend, Gene.
In addition, Suzanne was a published author, including a book she wrote in 1988 for newly-diagnosed MS patients entitled “Things I Wish Someone had Told Me.” She also wrote several articles for various MS publications, including “Memories,” “Keeping Your Cool,” “Living with Mighty Spirit,” and “Mighty Spirit vs. MS.”
Daughter Shelley was diagnosed with MS in 1988, which was devastating for the family, especially Suzanne and Gene. She has continued to honor her mom’s legacy working with horses and as a social worker.
Because of her strong desire to find a cure for this disease, Suzanne decided to donate tissue to the Rocky Mountain MS Center to be used for MS research
Suzanne is survived by her dedicated and loving husband, William Gene Rogers, who resides in Timbercreek Canyon; daughter Tracey Elizabeth Johnson and husband David of Montgomery, Texas; daughter Gena Leigh Garrison and husband Kenny of Richardson, Texas; daughter Shelley Suzanne Rogers Gross and husband Brian of McKinney, Texas; brother Neal Lemons and his family; grandchildren Joshua Johnson and wife Madison, Christopher Johnson, Jordan Johnson, Kelles Garrison, Harley Garrison, Hamlin Gross and Brendan Gross; and great grandchildren Kayden Johnson and his little brother, due in April.
Memorial donations would be very much appreciated and may be given to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, nationalmssociety.org/donate, or the Jo Baker Scholarship Fund through Opportunity Plan, 504 24th Street, Canyon, Texas, 79015.