Deborah Gayle Rogers, 72, of Danville, passed away July 10, 2023 in Danville, Kentucky. She was born in Glascow, Kentucky on February 26, 1951 to Helen Bruton Smith of Lexington and the late Douglas Smith. Deborah is survived by her husband of 52 years, Michael Craig Rogers.
Debi grew up in Danville, KY, and was a 1969 graduate of Danville High School. Debi later attended Eastern Kentucky University. Debi was a beautiful and talented lady and once held the title of Boyle County Jr. Miss. She also came in fourth runner-up in the Kentucky State Jr. Miss Pageant. Debi and Mike Rogers met in fifth grade while attending Lexington Avenue Baptist Church. They attended Danville High School together and were later married on February, 27th, 1971. A year later Corey their first child was born and just a few months later, Mike was deployed to Vietnam where he spent the next 13 months serving our country. After returning from Vietnam, Debi, and Mike were stationed in Hawaii at the Kaneohe Military Base. After several years, Debi and Mike returned to Danville, Kentucky.
In 1978, Debi gave birth to her second child, Summer. A few years later, the family moved with Mike’s job to Tampa, Florida. After a few years in Florida, Debi and Mike felt a calling to the ministry. They moved back to Kentucky where Mike studied to be a pastor at the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. During that time, Mike and Debi ministered to a small congregation at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Bethlehem, Kentucky. A few years later, Debi and Mike felt a calling to the mission field and became Southern Baptist Missionaries. They traveled with the family to Costa Rica and lived there for a year to learn Spanish. After that, they moved to Caracas, Venezuela to build new church ministries. A few years later, the family moved back to Lexington, Kentucky, where Mike pastored at Chevy Chase Baptist Church. Debi enjoyed singing in the church choir and often sang solos during service. Debi and Mike enjoyed several years in Lexington where they built many long-lasting relationships and ministered to many young college-aged people, young couples, and the elderly. Debi gave her time and used her creative talents to bless people in her family and at the church.
After several years in Lexington, Debi and Mike worked together to author a book called The Kingdom Agenda, Experiencing God In the Workplace. Debi was a gifted writer and editor and worked with Mike to bring this book to completion.
Later Debi and Mike moved closer to their daughter Summer who was living and working in Florida. Debi and Mike continued to serve God in their ministry at two different Baptist churches during their several years living there.
Over the years Debi and Mike were blessed with four grandchildren, Kaylea Martin, Tyler Rogers, Jake Rogers, and Natalie Rogers.
As they neared retirement, Debi and Mike moved back to Kentucky where they attained their real estate licenses and broker license. They enjoyed semi-retirement and Debi re-connected with her artistic passions. Debi enjoyed painting portraits, landscapes, flowers, and animals. She enjoyed painting custom portraits of pets, personalized on heirlooms, purses, and other client items. Debi and Mike were frequent vendors at festivals and arts fairs where they sold Debi’s painted art collections and Mike's wood crafts. After living near Summer and her family in Middlesboro, Kentucky for a few years, they made their way back to Danville where Debi and Mike were able to reconnect with high-school friends and be closer to extended family.
Over the years and while living in many locations, Debi was always good at embracing change, new challenges, and exciting adventures. The family lived and traveled to many states and several countries. Debi became exceptionally fluent in Spanish while living overseas. She worked hard to finish her 4-year college degree online while living abroad. She was a loving caregiver to her granddaughter Kaylea for many years. She enjoyed following the activities of all her four grandchildren and was extremely proud of them. She was an avid Scrabble & Word with Friends competitor - nearly unbeatable. Debi and Mike collaborated on many original songs. Debi wrote the lyrics and enjoyed singing them with Mike at the piano.
Debi experienced a lot of chronic knee and back pain later in life but she persevered and enjoyed spending time with her family despite her suffering. Debi valued her family above herself. Debi and Mike were married for a total of 52 years in February of 2023. Debi was a beautiful and loving wife, mom, and grandmother. Her beautiful smile and creative spirit will be severely missed by all that encountered it.
Along with her husband, she is survived by her mother, Helen Bruton Smith of Lexington, her son, Corey Michael Rogers (Robyn) of Stamping Ground, Kentucky and her daughter, Summer Lea Martin (Eric) of Middlesboro, Kentucky; grandchildren, Kaylea Martin, Tyler Rogers, Jake Rogers, and Natalie Rogers; sister, Julie Singetary (Neil) of Lexington, brother, Jason Smith (Laura) of Nicholasville and several nieces and nephews.
Deborah is preceded in death by her father and a sister, Stephanie Cheatham.
Funeral services will be 11am Monday, July 17, 2023 at Preston Pruitt Spurlin Funeral Home with Rev. Musial Pearson officiating. Burial will follow at Camp Nelson National Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday, July 16, 2023 from 3-5pm at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Corey Rogers, Tyler Rogers, Jake Rogers, Eric Martin, Jason Smith, Cody Singletary and Matt Evans.