Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Grace Esther Rogge Pérez
Grace Esther Rogge Pérez died at Juniper Village, State College on October 1, 2023, after a struggle with Alzheimer's and dementia. She was 100 years old. Born May 6, 1923, in Detroit, Michigan to parents, Francis Clinton Rogge and Ruth Esther Cairns Rogge, her family moved to Newark, NJ when she was 4. There, she, her mother and brother, lived with her grandparents until she was in her teens. She shared many memories of growing up with many cousins, aunts and uncles. A favorite memory was summers spent in Maine with her grandparents and extended family.
She graduated from Eastside High School, Paterson, NJ, in 1941. A two-year degree at NJ State Teachers College, was followed by a bachelor's degree in history from University of Maine in Orono. She also enjoyed studying and learning several languages.
Working at Squibb, she met her future husband, Louis C. Pérez. They married Aug 12, 1950. They lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan while Lou completed his graduate degrees in Spanish and Spanish Literature. They then moved to Williamstown, Massachusetts where he taught at Williams College for 10 years and where they started their family. Because of both Lou's and Grace's fluency in Spanish, they were able to teach all their children Spanish before they learned English.
A year in Spain was then followed by a move to State College, Pa., and a position as professor of Spanish at Penn State for Lou. After raising their family, she found time to earn a Master's degree in Library Science at University of Pittsburgh. Grace worked at Penn State's Pattee Library for many years as well as serving as research assistant for several professors.
After retiring in 1988, Lou and Grace traveled extensively in Europe and, for 20 years, spent each winter quite happily in Luquillo, Puerto Rico.
She was predeceased by her brother, Edgar Rogge, her parents, her husband in 2009, and daughter, Roberta Leyde, in 2021. Lou and Grace were married for 59 years.
Grace is survived by 2 children, Alison Luse (Shelby) in Centre Hall, and David Pérez (Rebecca) in Glendale, Wisconsin. Also surviving are her 12 much loved grandchildren, Daniela Moravec (Nathan), Christina Pérez, Jessica Blasko, Robin Gail Pérez, James Pérez (Chelsea), Justin Umbower (Madeline), Brian Leyde (Lydia), Karen Leyde, Laura Leyde (Nicolas Humeny), Josiah Luse (Kayla), Emily Pérez and Jeffrey Luse (Breanna). Also surviving are 6 great grandchildren, Kristian Moravec Gorn (Igor), Nathan and Anna Moravec and Rosalie, Veronica and Camden Umbower.
Grace also is survived by nieces and nephews in Kansas, Oregon, California and by several cousins in New England. She was especially close to her cousin, Edith Weik, of Lakeside, Connecticut.
The legacy she leaves her treasured family is a lifelong love of learning, a love of nature and history, especially family history, and curiosity and respect for other cultures and peoples.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 10 – 11am at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College, PA. Funeral service will follow at 11 am with Alison Luse officiating.
Interment will be in the Spring Creek Presbyterian Cemetery, Country Club Road, State College following the service.
Donations in her memory may be made to University of Maine Scholarship Fund at our.umaine.edu/roggeperez
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home. Online condolences may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
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Koch Funeral Home
F. Glenn Fleming, Supervisor
2401 S. Atherton Street
State College, PA 16801
(814) 238-0482 fax
A branch of:
John B. Brown Funeral Home, Inc.
Douglas A. Hallinan, Supervisor
417 Washington Street
Huntingdon, PA 16652
(814) 643-1257 fax