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Ann Calvin Rogers-Witte

25 juin 194512 novembre 2019

Rev. Ann Calvin (“Cally”) Rogers-Witte (June 25, 1945 – November 12, 2019), a native child of Cocoa, Florida, passed away peacefully at the age of 74 after bravely battling complications from a sudden infection.

Cocoa was home, the place where Cally spent both her formative and final years. But she was really a person of the world; a global minister who traveled extensively throughout a three-quarter-century life that was, at core, one great and continual act of service.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Cally exemplified this principle, practicing what she preached, at every turn. She loved fiercely, even those with whom she vehemently disagreed. She had a rare ability to see everyone’s basic goodness and humanness. She never knew how not to bring her full self to every interaction – and she didn’t wait until her final moments to tell friends and family how much she cherished them. Those who survive her knew what they meant to her. Her life is thus not to be viewed in accomplishments spanning years, but rather by lives deeply touched throughout a series of genuine and generous moments.

A graduate of Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, Cally received an M.A. in Religion from Yale Divinity School and a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. Cally was ordained in the United Church of Christ (UCC) in 1973. Before retiring in recent years, she was Executive Minister of Wider Church Ministries and Co-Executive of Global Ministries for the UCC for six years; and the UCC’s Southwest Conference Minister for 10 years. Prior to that, she was pastor of Community UCC in Raleigh, North Carolina for 18 years. In the 1970s, she worked as a Regional Associate with the former Office for Church Life and Leadership. Cally attended multiple international assemblies of the World Council of Churches; and was the director of Christian education at the American Church in Paris, France in the 1960s.

Cally chaired the UCC Insurance Board and served as a trustee of UCC-related Elon University in North Carolina. She also served terms as president of the New Mexico Council of Churches and the North Carolina Council of Churches, as well as a board member of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service.

Throughout her professional and personal life, Cally had a clear compass pointing in the direction of her core values of kindness and love. Civic engagement, grandkids, sunsets, sailing; these were a few of her favorite things. Tender yet tenacious about righting injustices, she will forever remain an inspiration and aspiration for her family, friends, colleagues, and congregants.

Her husband of 46 years, Dr. Frank Rogers-Witte, and children Mary Ann Ciciarelli and Beth Garriott, were by her side as she peacefully left this world. She is also survived by sons-in-law Christian Ciciarelli and Omar Garriott; and grandchildren Evelyn Ann Ciciarelli (5) and Amaya Ann Garriott (7). She joins her first grandchild Lee Ciciarelli, who passed away on November 24, 2015 at 5 years old from Timothy Syndrome and who ran straight to her in heaven; her father, Dr. Lee Rogers, Jr., a surgeon at the same Rockledge Regional Medical Center (then-Wuesthoff Memorial) where Cally spent her final days; and her mother, Ann Rogers, who also passed on at the Center 30 years ago.

May we all attempt to live by her model of earnest moments that connect rather than divide. In a 2010 interview for the UCC, Cally prophetically said: “The experience of years makes me less likely to predict what’s going to happen next…(but) there is tremendous value in knowing we’re part of something that’s historical as well as global, connected to people around the world. That’s my particular passion.”

A service to celebrate Cally’s life will be held on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 10 a.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cocoa, Florida.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Rev. Ann Calvin Rogers-Witte Memorial Fund at any of the following three organizations: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cocoa, Florida (mailed to the church at 4 Church Street, Cocoa, FL 32922); the UCC Wider Church Ministries, or the Timothy Syndrome Alliance (TSA).

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  • Celebration of Life

    samedi, 21 décembre , 2019

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Ann Calvin Rogers-Witte

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Robert and Graciella Gannon

21 décembre , 2019

We met Frank and Cally at Joe Wheeler State Park at the fall rendezvous. She touched us then and are in shock of her passing. Our hearts are with her special Frank and all her loved ones.
Robert and Graciella
Sweet Love

Sabine, Axel, Hagen Krauss & Schultz

20 décembre , 2019

Even though we live so far away, we feel so close, and we have many wonderful memories of Cally from encounters around the world. They all center around her vibrant energy, her generous love, her curiosity for others and her obvious joy of life: Experiencing Disneyland with her and Frank, sharing her childhood memories, attending a Pentecost mass in Austria listening to Mozart's Coronation Mass together, watching Cally and Frank playing funny games with Hagen, enjoying each others' company...
We will miss her so much and we cherish the time we had together.

Our hearts are with Frank, Beth and Mary Ann, and all her loved ones around her, feeling that loss so much more.

DAVID ME

17 décembre , 2019

Back in the 1950's my mother, Judith Melvin, was the president of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Florida Medical Association. Ann Rogers, Cally's mother, was the president Elect. A strong bond between the two families was established. Occasionally, after receiving a call from Ann, I would travel by train on the FEC line to Cocoa or fly into Melbourne on National Airlines for the launches. Dr. Lee Rogers, with his connections on the cape, was never wrong. Cally would travel down to Miami to be my date at the Junior Assembly of Miami New Years Eve Balls. Putting our years of cotillion to use, we would dance and dance the night away. Fond memories of a wonderful young lady. A genuine friend and a kind and gentle spirit never to be forgotten.

Bing Tso

23 novembre , 2019

I distinctly remember first meeting Cally in Cleveland in 2007, as a wide-eyed new Wider Church Ministries board member. What struck me was how she immediately reached out to me with a warm welcome, and how she radiated tremendous passion and energy around global mission and the work of the church. It was such a privilege and joy to work with her for ensuing four years. Those long trips out from Seattle seemed much less arduous knowing that I would get to see Cally and hear about the wonderful things she was doing. I remember how she spoke with such love about both her immediate family, as well as her vast global partner family. I will miss Cally, but her spirit lives on in me and many, many others.

Michael Bausch

23 novembre , 2019

We send our sympathy to Callie's family in this sad time. We first met Callie at PSR in Berkeley around 1972 and have seen her over the years at various UCC events, most recently in June at the PSR luncheon at the UCC General Synod in Milwaukee. We fondly remember her energy, integrity, and exuberance and will always hold her in our hearts. --Rev. Catherine Ann Carlson and Rev. Michael Bausch, Madison, Wisconsin

Constance Ray Holland Lilly

20 novembre , 2019

My memory of my cousin Cally is that she was in the wedding of my husband Tom & myself December 29, 1962. She was very beautiful. We did not see her often, but, as family members, we again saw her during a trip that she & Frank made to Collierville, Mississippi in about 2013-14 getting together with her Mississippi
cousins. We were proud of her accomplishments, and will miss her.

Constance & Tom Lilly
Oxford, Mississippi

John McCullough

18 novembre , 2019

Cally will be remembered as a great ecumenist who brought to her work a special quality of joy and commitment. She was an extraordinary representative of the United Church of Christ and it's global mission. As a member of the Church World Service Board of Directors and as a member of our Heads of Mission Agency Forum her vision and commitment to justice and mercy, and generous hospitality were fully evident. We will miss Cally dearly and offer our deepest condolences to her family.

David Ackerman

18 novembre , 2019

We, in the United Church of Christ, are all so sorry to hear the news of Cally's passing. She will be missed by so many people. May God's love and grace comfort your whole family in the midst of these challenging times.

Meredith Persson

15 novembre , 2019

My sincere sympathy to the family. I remember Cally well from our year together in Paris. May the love she shared so generously continue to inspire you all, and may she rest in deep peace.

Marci Oates

15 novembre , 2019

My husband Tim and I were honored to be able to call Cally a friend. What an inspirational fabulous woman! We were invited to their home in Arizona to share a meal, and our sons met her as well. Cally was so full of joy and fun, we cherished our times with her. We recently were invited to their home in Cocoa with our friends and they too remarked on her welcoming spirit. We hope her memories live on in your hearts forever. Our love is with you all over the next several days and forever.
With much love and hugs,
Marci and Tim Oates

DE LA FAMILLE