Shirley Rogers

Shirley Rogers

Shirley Rogers

February 5, 1926 – July 2, 2023

Shirley Babineau Rogers of Naples, FL, and formerly of New Canaan, CT, died on July 2, 2023, at the age of 97. She was the daughter of Harry and Wilma Babineau of Greenfield Hill, Fairfield, CT. She was a graduate of Wellesley College, Class of 1947, and in 2002 finished a five-year term as president of her class. She also attended the Latin American Institute in New York City, studying translation skills and shorthand in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

In 1948 she became the Maria Moors Cabot Prize secretary to Carl W. Ackerman, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City. Her duties also included personally translating for Dwight D. Eisenhower, then President of Columbia University, when he was hosting Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking visitors from Latin America, including Presidents and newspaper owners of those countries.

Later, in addition to her translation duties for President Eisenhower, she became the Pulitzer Prize secretary, receiving and cataloging all the newspaper, drama, and book selections submitted to the Trustees of Columbia University, who announced the winners on the first Monday of every May. She worked closely with Palmer Hoyt, Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Allan Nevins, Arthur Krock, and other members of the Pulitzer Board.

Mrs. Rogers, who was active in Saint Aloysius School and Church work in New Canaan, CT, was a lector and eucharistic minister there and at Saint Thomas More Church in Darien, CT. She also for many years headed the foreign language laboratories at New Canaan High School. She was a trained Literacy Volunteer, and, in addition, read many books for the blind for the Darien, CT, chapter. She was a longtime member of Woodway Country Club in Darien, CT, where she was active in golf, paddle tennis, bowling, and duplicate bridge.

In recent years, Mrs. Rogers was part of the Monday crew for Habitat for Humanity in Immokalee, FL, actively building houses for the migrant poor. When well into her eighties, she used her Literacy Volunteer training to tutor Spanish-speaking workers, hoping to raise their work status and become more comfortable in the community. She was a communicant at Saint William Church in Naples, FL, serving as a lector and eucharistic minister. She was also a member of the Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples, FL.

She was predeceased by her loving husband of 72 years, Courtenay Rogers. She is survived by their five children: Candace O’Brien of New Canaan, CT, Lee Rogers (Nancy) of Great Barrington, MA, Julie Bullard (Lyman) of Needham, MA, Matthew Rogers (Krista) of Ansonia, CT, and John Rogers of Venice, FL, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Donations in her memory may be made to Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, Inc., 11145 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL 34113.

Dates for a Mass of Christian burial at Saint Aloysius Catholic Church in New Canaan, CT, and interment in Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan, are to be determined.


Carole/Cookie Saccocci

August 29, 2023, 9:38 am

I met Shirley at Glenview when I was a patient at Premier Place. My husband had passed a few months before and it was Shirley who consoled me at a time when I felt lost. I was truly blessed to have had her enter into my life at a time of sorrow and medical issues which confronted me.
I was amazed to find that she was the same major of language in college as I was. We shared many French conversations together to pass the time. Her background in languages fascinated me and there was no end to our conversations. She could talk about anything— her past efforts with helping Habitat for Humanity and working for General Eisenhower.
I have lost a deep friendship and have donated a Smart TV in her honor to Habitat for Humanity. I can see her smiling down from heaven, knowing that her deep sense of commitment to this organization will continue on in the future.
Carole/ Cookie Saccocci
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