Rogina Louisa Haase Jeffries
Mrs. Stephen B. Jeffries (Rogina Louisa Haase) of Boston passed away on November 11, 2012, after a long illness.
The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. (Dr.) Frederick Louis Haase Jr. (Mary Louise Mallery), Rogina was born August 28, 1959, in New York City and grew up in upstate New York in Cobleskill and West Winfield. She was a 1977 graduate of Mount Markham High School in West Winfield, and a 1982 cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke, where she majored in physics.
Rogina’s technical career as a software engineer at Lincoln Laboratory (MIT) began in 1982 and lasted a little over a decade. During that time, she worked mostly on satellite surveillance efforts, supporting two major programs. The first, a new camera for the Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System, resulted in many trips to Lincoln’s field site on the White Sands Missile Range, near Socorro, NM. In addition to providing a high level of software support, she developed a taste for Rio Grande Valley green chili. After working on other ground-based sensors, she began work on the Space-Based Visible Sensor which was installed on the Missile Defense Agency’s Midcourse Space Experiment satellite. This satellite was launched in 1996 and operated for 13 years as an important part of the space surveillance network. Rogina’s contributions were an important element in the early orbital operations; her manual, which provided incalculable assistance in understanding how to run the sensor efficiently, was referenced daily. Even as the sensor began to age, her contributions continued to be of value in understanding how to continue productive operations.
After retiring from the laboratory, Rogina focused on extensive volunteer work, serving as vice chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Architects for over a decade and as an active member of the Junior League of Boston and treasurer one year of Showhouse. A dedicated member of several yacht club race committees (Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA, and the New York Yacht Club, in NYC and Newport, among others), she served on the Day Marina of the Atlanta 1996 Sailing Olympics, which were staged in the waters off Savannah, GA. As a volunteer with the Delta Society therapy dog program, she visited nursing homes with her Standard Poodle, Cawley. She was a trustee of the Theodore Roosevelt Association and the founder and webmaster of its website, for which she received the Bertha B. Rose Award in 2007 for outstanding service to the Association. A member, and chairman for several years, of the Garden Guild of The Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill, she was also an enthusiastic member of the Beacon Hill Garden Club, receiving several citations over the years in its window box contest (run annually in conjunction with the Beacon Hill Civic Association). She served as the Club’s corresponding secretary for many years, and in 2010 was awarded its Temple Bowl (also known as the Beacon Hill Garden Club Bowl) in recognition of valuable service to the Club. Rogina was a member of the Ward Five Republican Committee from 1994 until her death, an active member of The Chilton Club in Boston, and a non-resident member of both the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami and the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in Tampa/Saint Petersburg, FL.
In 2000, Rogina received the wonderful news of her first pregnancy, followed by the devastating news of a tumor in her right kidney. It was hoped that the cancer had not spread, but at her annual checkup five years later many metastasized tumors were discovered. In the last seven or so years of her life Rogina persevered through aggressive treatments for thirteen brain tumors, six bone tumors, twelve chest tumors and two spinal cord tumors. She fought her disease with incredible determination and bravery while never wavering in her positive attitude towards life and devotion to her family and friends.
Survivors include Rogina’s husband of 23 years, and her young children, Julia Preston Faulkner Jeffries and Philip John Roosevelt Jeffries.