In Remembrance – A Salute to Yuki Rogers
This is personally very challenging for me as I report on the memorial service of none other than my friend, a philanthropist, a beauty queen, a socialite with a truly giving heart. My introduction to Yuki Rogers happened several years back at an Asian Pacific American Heritage Association (AHAPA) gala and since then we bonded. She was a true inspiration to me who strongly supported Lights Camera Action, Houston’s lifestyle online magazine. She was the face of light of this magazine, as I recollect my several interviews with the Late Rogers. She believed in me and was always ready to help with my ventures. Yuki Rogers gladly hosted the launch party of Lights Camera Action at Pradaria Restaurant.
As I write my hands tremble with grief and an empty feeling but I believe that Yuki must be in a better place. Her generosity and her smile are truly immortal and that was reflected on Saturday January 22, 2012 as Houston witnessed a packed house at the West Loop HCC Campus where her memorial service was hosted.
The auditorium was beautifully decorated with flowers and selected pictures of Yuki Rogers. My eyes were held captive on the one of Yuki wearing a sari adorned in Indian jewelry. The stage was well lit with soft tones of purple and pink, in the center was the ever-smiling face of Yuki surrounded by flowers. The diversity in the room spoke a thousand words. Well wishers from various organizations and ethnicity’s gathered to pay homage to the Rogers family.
Rayna Yuki Rogers passed away on January 12, 2012, leaving many with a heavy heart. She lived a life of dignity and beauty and the world will be a lesser place without her presence. A single mother, Yuki managed to spread her love for the community and philanthropic work. She supported Japanese culture, including Japan America Society and Japan Association of Greater Houston. She also worked tirelessly with Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, Asia Society, Dance of Asian America, Asian American Family Services, Houston Symphony, Indian Film Festival and the list can go on.
Present at the service Honorable Al Green, US Congress, 9th District and Dr. Mary Spangler, Chancellor, Houston Community College System gave the official presentation. Amongst the family members Mrs. Alix Rogers and son Mr. Joseph Rogers shared some loving memories of Yuki. Viet Hoang of Yellow Magazine, Kim Szeto from AAFS and friends Munira Panjwani and Munir Ibrahim expressed their special friendship with Yuki. Muinra recollected how Yuki even in the most stressful situation would remain calm and would say “Everything will be all fine at the end.”
Each guest was presented with a crane at the event. In Asia, cranes are symbols of longevity, prosperity and happiness. The crane played an important part at the service as it was a symbol loved by Yuki. A group of her Japanese friends worked hard to lovingly fold each of the hundreds of origami cranes in the baskets for everyone. Yuki Rogers might have left us, but her seeds of love have already been planted.
A report By Ruchi Mukherjee