Elizabeth Rogers, 76

Oct. 23, 1936 - March 7, 2013
Elizabeth Rogers, Oct. 23, 1936 - March 7, 2013

    Elizabeth Elting Rogers, a pianist and jazz aficionado who was known on the South Fork as a person of grace and generosity, died on March 7 at home in Bridgehampton. Her death was caused by a brain aneurism, her family said. She was 76.
    Ms. Rogers was called Bumpy. She played in jazz groups with Barry Harris, a pianist and composer, in New York City and in Rome, and had held celebrations in his honor at her home every summer. She also had accompanied Aras Ames’s Conservatory of Ballet and Danse Arts, in Bridgehampton, and contributed occasional reviews of jazz and classical concerts to The East Hampton Star. She was to have played the piano at a service of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork on March 10.
    Before settling in Bridgehampton in 1976, Ms. Rogers had played the piano for Maria Tallchief’s master ballet classes and the American Ballet Theatre, among others. In addition to her life in music, she was a writer, an activist, and a gardener. She was a member of the Ocean Zendo in Sagaponack, and regularly provided it with flowers.
    Ms. Rogers was born in Chicago on Oct. 23, 1936, to Winston Elting and Marjorie Horton Elting. She attended the Chatham Hall school in Virginia and went to Vassar as a music major in 1954. Her marriage to Bernard Fowler Rogers III in 1957 brought her back to Chicago, however, and she graduated from the University of Chicago. Friends said she was a true intellectual, but comported herself modestly in everything she did.
    Ms. Rogers and her husband, who later divorced, became parents of four boys. Her son Paul Rogers said their love of the South Fork was engendered when, beginning in the 1960s, she piled them in a station wagon and drove here from Chicago to spend summers. She also found time to own a women’s fashion boutique in that city and to produce “People of the Wind,” a documentary about the Bakhtiari people of Iran, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
    In addition to her son Paul, who lives in Sag Harbor, Ms. Rogers’s surviving sons are Chris Rogers, also of Sag Harbor, who is Paul’s twin, and Michael Rogers of Mount Tremper, N.Y. Her son Mark Rogers died before her. Also surviving are two siblings, John Elting of New York City and Audry Elting of Godfry, Ill., and a half brother, Lach Elting of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
    Donations in Ms. Rogers’s memory have been suggested for the Choral Society of the Hamptons, P.O. Box 1031, Bridgehampton 11932. A memorial service is to be held on June 1 at St. Andrew’s Dune Church in Southampton, with the Rev. Peter M. Larsen officiating.