LaRene (Tepa) Rogers
December 21st, 2017 | Staff Report
LaRene (Tepa) Rogers, 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Dec. 16, 2017. Family and friends are invited to join in celebrating Tepa's life at the Homer Elks Lodge on Dec. 23 at 2 p.m.
Rogers was born on Sept. 4, 1931, to Bert and Inga Hansen. She lived in Homer all her life — born in a log house on Main Street. She was truly a pioneer as she grew up in the earliest days of Homer. A shed was built onto their family home and was used as Homer's first grocery store. Plus, they had the first taxi service in Homer with two Model A Ford sedans.
Sometimes, at 12 years old, she would drive the taxis as a driver's license was not needed. She shared memories of laundry day using a washboard and tub, and later upgrading to a gasoline washing machine. Rogers spent her childhood days getting coal from the beach and sledding down Main Street. Plus, there were fun ice skating times on Beluga Lake. When Tepa turned 16, she worked for the Snug Harbor cannery, worked with her dad and brother, Booie, on a hand trap at Kalgin Island and she had her own set net site to fish. Tepa also worked for Wythe & Son Builders and the Bank of Homer as their first teller.
In 1953, Tepa married Lawrence Rogers, who she met at a pie social, and they worked hard on developing their homestead. Since there was no hospital in Homer in 1955, she had to fly over to Seldovia's hospital early and wait until their first daughter, Linda, was born. The airplane pilot said, "I'll take her over in one piece and bring her back in two." In 1956, Tepa made the same trip for the birth of their daughter, Judy. By 1958, there was a hospital in Homer, and their third daughter, Anita, was born there.
Tepa loved being a mom — she was the best listener and encourager ever. She was a wonderful role model for her family as she brought joy and kindness to everyone with her quiet reflections. She never complained about anything and truly lived her life with a positive attitude.
Her grandchildren enjoyed the tasty cookies that she baked with love, Saturday nights with popcorn, playing games and laughing. Each grandchild and great grandchild have special memories and they have cherished the time spent with her. The family will continue their tradition of having a Christmas picnic every year, because Tepa treasured this special celebration.
Tepa was quite the fisherman, as you could see her on the banks of the Anchor River ready to catch a large king salmon each spring, fishing for silvers, dipping red salmon and hauling halibut out of Kachemak Bay. At 81, she was excited to catch a 132 -pound halibut. She was quite a gardener — her large garden supplied all of our vegetables, but she made sure there were no weeds.
Tepa was an active member of the Pioneers of Alaska, as she was the Queen Regent in 1995 and the historian for many years. She enjoyed traveling to the Pioneer Conventions and sharing old-time stories with fellow pioneers. She was also a charter member of the Homer Emblem Club, and performed with their drill team. Tepa really had fun at her monthly Red Hat socials, and she enjoyed lunches and activities at the Senior Center. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxillary.
One of her big adventures last year was an Alaska cruise with her family. She was up early and was one of the last ones to go to bed. She truly enjoyed every minute.
A special thank you to Dr. Bell for his exceptional care and thoughtfulness for Tepa's health needs over the years.
Tepa is survived by her daughters Linda (Dave) Rowe, Anita (Bob) Critchett, all of Homer; Judy (Dick) Fowler-Morris, of Fairbanks; grandchildren Lisa (Cory) Wilcox, Andrew (Mishelle) Fowler; Marina (Andrew) Krysinski; Denali Critchett, Dylan (Nicole) Critchett; Kevin Rowe and Brian (Rachel) Rowe. She is also survived by her sister-in-laws: Annie Rogers, Mary Beth Piper and Bertha Hansen; niece Storm Hansen-Cavasos and great-grandchildren Myla, Trinity and Trace Critchett.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites persons to make a memorial donation to a cause close to your heart and show kindness to others in remembrance of Tepa.