Marliss (Coursin) Rogers, 89, a long-time resident of Port Washington, passed away on Sunday, November 3, 2019, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s. She was the beloved wife of Julian N. Rogers and is survived by Julian and their children, Aileen Rogers, Gregg Rogers, Carla Rogers, Deidre (Rogers) and John Anheuser, Paul Rogers, and Janet Rogers. She was preceded in death by her son, Christopher Rogers, her brother, Benjamin Coursin, her brother-in-law Stuart Larson, and her mother and father, Benjamin and Emma (Reiter) Coursin. Marliss is also survived by her sister Kay (Coursin) Larson, her sister-in-law Patricia Coursin, and numerous nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews. She also had four grandchildren, Justin Rogers-Cooper (Ania Kozlowska), Alyssa Rogers-Cooper (Mark Blackwell), Chelsea (Hunter) Mills, and Evan Anheuser. Her four great-grandchildren were her special blessing and joy of the last few years, Konrad Kozlowski-Cooper, James and Lyla Blackwell, and August Mills.

Born in 1930, Marliss grew up in Milwaukee in a loving family, and attended Messmer Catholic High School (1948). As a young woman, Marliss loved music, theater, art, and writing. She had a strong faith life and was active in Young Christian Workers. She loved to travel. In the fall of 1952, she took a trip to Hawaii, where she met the love of her life, Julian, nicknamed Jay, in Honolulu. Jay was stationed with the Coast Guard and Marliss stayed on the Islands working for Hawaiian Airlines. The two fell in love and returned to Milwaukee to be married on September 12, 1953.

In the 1970’s Marliss began a new chapter in her career, working for the Office for the Laity (later to be called Office for Parish Councils) at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Nothing made Marliss happier than to be involved in the work of faith. She soon became focused on developing resources for parish councils, which started to blossom as part of renewal in the church. She co-authored The New Practical Guide for Parish Councils and was editor of Weekly Prayer Services for Parish Meetings. She made many dear and lifelong friends during this exciting time.

Marliss wrote and consulted for churches and parish councils for several more years, eventually retiring in 1992 with Jay to the community of Port Washington. She worked actively there on social justice and environmental causes. Her most special commitment was to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry, where she worked every Tuesday for over 20 years.

Marliss and Jay had a large and beautiful celebration in 2003 for their 50th wedding anniversary at the Smith Brothers in downtown Port. Family and friends wore Hawaiian shirts and they received many toasts and cheers.

Marliss was an outgoing, energetic, creative, and caring woman. She had a beautiful, loving spirit. She had a passion for helping others, was quick to call out unkindness or injustice, and was dedicated to making a difference for all, especially for the most vulnerable. She loved to laugh, sing, and dance. She had a beautiful voice and sang in the church choir. She loved her garden, the farmer’s market, and Port Washington, especially the beautiful views of the lake. She loved her family above all and was blessed to share the last years of her life with her husband of 66 years, who was by her side each day until the end.

One of her favorite quotes was St. Teresa of Avila, “Life is like a Spanish Inn: You find there what you bring there.”

Marliss will be missed deeply by her family, and friends. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, November 8, 2019 at St. John XXIII Catholic Parish, St. Peter of Alcantara Church, 1802 N. Wisconsin St., Port Washington, WI 53074. Visitation 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday AT CHURCH prior to Mass. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery, Port Washington, WI.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Food Pantry, Inc., c/o St. John XXIII, 1800 N. Wisconsin St., Port Washington, WI 53074, 262/284-1148.

POOLE FUNERAL HOME/Crematory, Port Washington, WI assisting the family. Information and condolences at or 262/284-4431.



  1. I was lucky enough to know Marliss for twenty plus years while I dated and then married her beautiful daughter Aileen. I got to know Marliss very well and in that time we realized we both enjoyed talking about politics and social justice, and I realized she was one of the kindest souls on this planet.

    I have missed Marliss for many years, and am deeply saddened by the news of her passing. My heart goes out to her entire family and grandchildren, whom I also miss dearly. My thoughts are, and will be with you during this hard time, and we can all be happy that we had a chance to meet and to know Marliss and what a kind and beautiful person she was. May God bless her entire family.
    Jeff Mayer

  2. I met Marliss several years ago through the Ozaukee Community Awareness Forum. She reminded me of a Shakespeare quote: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I was consistently amazed that this tiny, sweet lady could fight so ferociously for what she was passionate about; not only that, she had more skill with computers than many people half her age! It was an honor to know and work with Marliss in our community. She was a beautiful soul who I have already been missing for years. I will miss her, still, but I am glad she is able to rest with her God she loved so well.

  3. To the Rogers Family:
    Our hearts are with you at the loss of your mother. We fondly remember all the good times we shared as neighbors on 61st Street. We will send a memorial contribution to The Food Pantry to honor your mother.
    Liz, Mark, & Julie Harris

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