Bertha (née van Niekerk) Rogers, 59, of Savannah, Georgia, entered into God’s Kingdom on Sunday, November 12th, surrounded by her family. She was born on April 27th, 1964, to William and Deodata (Datie) van Niekerk in the Free State in South Africa. Bertha comes from a long line of farmers and spent her early years on her family farm, named “Taranaki.” Bertha attended “Oranje School for Girls,” a boarding school in Bloemfontein, before going on to get her nursing degree at the University of the Free State. Bertha worked as an intensive care unit nurse at Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein for several years and in Cape Town before taking a chance to come to America on a nursing scholarship.
During her time working at Memorial Hospital, she met her future husband, physician Stephen Rogers. They married in 1994 in South Africa, and their daughter Deodata (Datie) was born in 1995. Bertha and Stephen had Ernest in 1997, and then Bertha stayed home to care for her children and family. Bertha was a dedicated member of the community and gave much of her time to service, whether that be at her children’s school or First Presbyterian Church, where she was an active member for many years. Bertha volunteered for the church’s homeless ministry, and she served on the church session. Bertha was an avid gardener and helped to create and maintain a Butterfly Garden for children at Savannah Country Day School. Bertha could always be found tending to her garden in her free time. She was a natural athlete and participated in races throughout her years in Savannah. Bertha had a joyful spirit and was known for being very energetic.
Bertha is survived by her husband, Dr. Stephen Rogers, children Datie and Ernest Rogers, daughter in law Molly Smathers, sister Hesti (Christo) Gelderblom, brother Humphrey (Ansie) van Niekerk, sister in law Susan (David) Rogers, brother in law David (Mirela) Rogers, and her nieces and nephews Deodata, Christi, Wihan, William, Theo, Humphrey, Matthew, Laura, Emma and Tom.
A service will be held on Saturday, November 25th at 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA. A reception will follow after the service. Memorials may be made to Hilarity for Charity in honor of Bertha. https://www.wearehfc.org/?