BURTON ROGERS 2007 Memorial and Funeral

Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Staff, Directors
Burton Rogers: Counselor, Teacher 1942-1945
Counselor, Teacher, Principal 1947-1949
Director 1949-1973
Director Emeritus
Burton Brush Rogers (1909-2007)

BURTON ROGERS 2007 Memorial and Funeral

Burton Rogers [May 3, 1909 -1999]. [X_100_workers_2603_mod.jpg]

TAGS: Burton Rogers memorial and funeral, PMSS Director, American Friends Service Committee, Yale University, Yale in China Program, Yali Union Middle School, Changsha, WWII, Japanese invasion of China, Berlin German language training, Mary Blagden Rogers, India, Pendle Hill AFS training, American Friends Service in India, Christopher Rogers, Peter Rogers

BURTON ROGERS 2007 Memorial and Funeral

Burton Rogers had one of the longest association with Pine Mountain Settlement School of any governing staff at the School. His tenure was spread throughout numerous administrative assignments including teacher, counselor, school principal, and director. However, it is without a doubt that his years as a constant advocate for the larger Pine Mountain community was his most constant concern and, late in a life well-lived, it was his reward.


A small note found among his papers labeled “1991 Burton’s Angels” provides a list of women and their phone numbers. The individuals on this list had formed a core support system to be called upon by Burton in his last years. It is reflective of the deep connections he made with individuals who worked at the School in some capacity or who were nearby and could be called upon to assist him and the School where needed. The women who provided support to Burton and to the School is a visual lesson in “community” and service. While the list is exclusively women, it is certain that many men in the community also provided assistance on an “on-call” basis for Burton and for the School when and where needed during his last years on the campus. Pine Mountain thanks these faithful “Angels.”


Denise Napier Myrtle Turner
Cumile Lewis Ava Witt
Bonnie Huff
Cora Creech
DeEtta Stevenson YOUNG ONES
Trudy Morgan Melody Hawkins
Debra Callahan April Napier
Geneva Jackson Julia Huff
 Rhoda Couch Deanna Callahan

BURTON ROGERS After Pine Mountain

As he aged and as his medical needs became too great, Burton Rogers re-located to Lexington where he could be close to his son, Peter, and daughter-in-law, Phyllis, and to his Quaker Circle of Friends. It proved to be a wise move and one that expanded the his circle of angels.


When Burton Rogers died in April of 1999 there were two memorials for the fondly remembered Friend and the former Pine Mountain worker. The Quaker Friends Meeting House in Lexington was the location of the first celebration and the second was held at Pine Mountain Settlement School where Burton spent the bulk of his career as an educator. The Pine Mountain memorial was officiated by the Rev. Titus Boggs, son of the Rev. Alvin Boggs, who succeeded Burton as Director of Pine Mountain Settlement on his retirement in 1973.


Burton Rogers. Obituary. [rogers_funeral_009.jpg]


DR. LARRY SHINN, Berea College President

Burton was such an important figure n the development of Pine Mountain Settlement School’s programs and history that his death records the passing of an era not only at Pine Mountain but also in 20th century Appalachia. May we all celebrate his long and meaningful life, even as we mourn our loss.

Larry Shinn, President Berea College

ANITA PUCKETT, Linguist and Historian

At the April 2006 Memorial for Burton Rogers, there were many who spoke to the many achievements and friendships that Burton fostered over his lifetime. The following later (June 2007) remarks of linguist and historian Anita Puckett aptly summarize the legacy that Burton left to the community and to those he instructed and to those who worked with him.

As we get older we often learn that we have to compromise our visions, aspirations, and goals. Not so for the man we commemorate here today. I first learned about Burton Rogers in 1968 when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Kentucky on a field trip to learn about “Appalachia.” We had come to Pine Mountain Settlement School on an outing. He was not here, but Bill Hayes was, and he told us about his and Mary’s vision of turning the School into an environmental learning center, a place where students of all ages could come to experience and learn about the way of the mountains. I was impressed and hoped that their vision could come to pass.

I then met Mr. Rogers again in 1985 when I was able to live here for over a year. He was still strong and vital, involved and caring, and above all, certain in his vision and hopes for the School’s future. These were tough times for Pine Mountain, but Burton and Mary were always stalwart and optimistic. They were also most kind and truly interested in others. They had earned the goodwill and respect of not only those at the School but also those in the community around them.

My work at the time kept me from spending much time with him, but he was nevertheless a constant, always present, if not in person, then in his presence in how teachers and staff did their jobs and thought about the future. He knew what would sustain the School and he did everything in his power to make it happen.

Perhaps one [of] his most enduring legacies for all of us will be listening to him play the organ in the Chapel and his central role in getting the Christmas to be a joy to us all every year. He loved it so much.

Burton Rogers took Pine Mountain Settlement School from its latter days of being a county school to becoming a regional force in environmental education. And did it with goodwill, good heart, and strong faith. We were all privileged to be part of his life, no matter how much or how brief. I was honored to know him; I am honored to be able to share my thoughts with you today, although I cannot be here in person.

Anita Puckett
June 22, 2007

GALLERY: Burton Rogers 2007 Memorial and Funeral

See Also:

BURTON ROGERS Director – Biography