WHO’S NEW: Keith and Jane Rogers

By: Pat Winter

Have you ever been searching for an answer to a lingering problem? Or have you unexpectedly discovered an opportunity that was exactly what you had been looking for?

Meet Keith and Jane Rogers, Albemarle Sound Loopers. In June just over a year ago, they sailed into our marina aboard their boat “Lola” on the recommendation of friendly sailors they met at Coinjock Marina and were kept ashore here for four days because of bad weather. By the time the weather broke and they were ready to continue on their way, the Rogers had made an offer on a home here on Little Circle Drive.

Sound impulsive? Not in the least! This home purchase was, in fact, the Rogers’ long-awaited solution to their ongoing retirement conundrum.

When Keith and Jane retired, they owned a big vacation home on beautiful Bald Head Island, North Carolina, where they also owned a boat slip for their 45-foot Independence Cherubini trawler. A few years later, however, they sold their big house, including the slip and boat, and put money on a lot, hoping to eventually build a small vacation home there.

In the years since then, the Rogers have enjoyed cruising down to Bald Head Island for vacation, but they have not been able to convince themselves to begin construction. The question of whether this was the right retirement venue for them was keeping them from taking any further steps. For although Bald Head Island boasts about 1,000 homes, it can claim only 200 year-round residents. The Rogers knew this would make it difficult for them to have an active year-round community lifestyle.

So, while there were small-craft warnings out on the Albemarle Sound, the Rogers hopped on a golf cart with Dockmaster Jay Darnell who gave them a tour of the neighborhoods around the marina. After looking at townhomes on Country Club Drive, they actually took a home tour at Jack and Brenda Supplee’s on Little Circle Drive and by evening they had accepted an invitation to a neighborhood picnic at the home of Jack and Sally Blitz. These welcoming interactions with the folks in our community were key elements in the Rogers’ decision that Albemarle Plantation was the retirement spot for them. Here they also found a variety of amenities and clubs that would keep them active all year long, and a community of volunteers that took pride in helping to maintain the quality of Albemarle Sound living. “People here also care about Hertford and the surrounding communities,” commented Jane.

Although Keith and Jane, along with their traveling companion pup Grady, are now moved into their home here, they still maintain their family home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which is close to their three grandchildren. Their Doylestown home is isolated, however, and it is often too cold and icy for walking outside during the winter months. So winter is when we can expect to find the Rogers most frequently at home on Little Circle Drive, which is a short, pleasant walk to the marina where they can check on their boat even during our coldest winter days.

Married for over fifty years, Keith and Jane met their freshman year in college at a very cold freshman mix-er in upstate New York. Keith was at-tending Clarkson University of Technology, and Jane was enrolled at the State University of New York at Potsdam. After graduation and marriage, Keith joined the Marine Corps and completed six and one-half years of active duty flying A-4 Skyhawk jets and later flying for the Reserves at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania.

After the military, Keith was employed at Merck Pharmaceuticals for a time, followed by a stint with the FAA as an air traffic controller for La Guardia Airport in New York City. When the airlines began hiring again, he became a pilot for Braniff International and later a demonstration pilot for Atlantic Westwind Sales. Keith also flew for People Express Airlines, followed by piloting for Continental Airlines where he re-tired as Captain.

Meanwhile, Jane stayed home with their two daughters and later resumed her career as an elementary school teacher in the local public-school system. She always had a passion for the law, however, and took a year’s sabbatical from the classroom to attend Temple University’s School of Law. By attending night school classes during the following three years, Jane was able to complete her law degree while continuing to teach. Although she recalls that law school was “fantastically interesting,” Crohn’s Disease made her rethink her choice of law as a second career. Now that she is healthy again, she hopes to stay that way by enjoying our relaxing Albemarle lifestyle.

When you get a chance to meet the Rogers, be sure to welcome them home!