June Scobee Rogers

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What a treasure June Scobee Rogers is! June blessed our Christ UMC Women’s Ministry when she spoke at our Mad Hatter’s Tea. She inspired us with her life story about moving forward from a life of childhood challenges to an abundant life.

 By the time June was seven, she had moved twenty-five times with her mother and younger siblings. Living in poverty, each child carried all their worldly goods in a paper grocery bag. Sadly, educators mistook June’s financial misfortunes and scruffy appearance for a form of mental retardation, and she was placed in a special education class. But June’s inner spirit knew there must be a way out. She memorized I Corinthians 13 in an effort to prove she could learn. Eventually, she was moved into a regular classroom. When June came across Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, she realized she could make a change in her life by the way she viewed her circumstances. As a child, she adopted an A B C life philosophy.

Attitude – She was in control of her attitude not her situation.
Belief – She developed a belief in herself and in a power greater than herself.
Courage – She would need the courage to commit to whatever cause she believed in.
This philosophy has been the linchpin of her life.


June met and fell in love with Dick Scobee as a high school student. They married after she graduated from high school and the couple took in her brothers. For the first time in her life, June had a real home.


 June shared with us the story of Dick’s rise to astronaut stardom and her extraordinary career as an educator. In an ironic twist of fate, once regarded as one who couldn’t learn, she obtained a PhD and has taught every grade level from kindergarten to college.


 June’s belief in God and her ABC philosophy helped her cope with the tragic loss of her husband in the Challenger explosion. The day that began as the most exciting day of their life turned into a disaster. However, June turned that tragedy around and led the families of the Challenger astronauts to carry on the educational mission of the Challenger STS-51L crew. The group founded the Challenger Center for Space Science Education with 48 learning centers around the country that allow kids to learn about space via simulated space missions and other hands-on activities.


 Once again June found love and happiness and is married to retired Army Lieutenant General Don Rodgers. She thanks God for His abundant blessings.


 Inspired by many parts of June’s story, I’m still clinging to a story she shared about Dick Scobee’s humility. When President Reagan, in a speech about the Challenger heroes, mentioned the names of all the astronaut’s but Dick, June asked her husband what he thought about that. Dick replied, “It’s the mission that’s important, not the names.”

 What a reminder to all of us that it’s our mission on earth that’s important. June serves as an honorable example of one who lives for her mission. She was born to turn around tragedy not to get turned around by tragedy. Let’s be inspired by her message to keep moving forward in our own God-given mission and turn our tragedies into triumphs.



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