Barbara Jo 'BJ' Rogalla

May 13, 2010

Searsport — Barbara Jo "BJ" Rogalla died unexpectedly May 10, 2010, after a long illness.

BJ is survived by her husband of 30 years, Duane "Rick" Rogalla. Condolences may be sent to Rick at their home. BJ is probably best known locally, together with her husband, as the talented and creative silver and goldsmiths in Searsport known as The Talisman. Her custom designed, handmade jewelry was coveted by many both locally and from afar.

A Sanford High School graduate and former teacher both on an elementary and college level, BJ was also an accomplish sailor. She founded and was director of The Mini School in Indianapolis, Ind., a school for primarily American Indian children who were unsuccessful in traditional school settings. BJ used comic books to motivate them to read and was highly successful with this approach.

BJ also was the co-founder with her husband of Isham Community College in Chicago, where she served as both an administrator and as an English instructor.

In addition to her work, BJ was concerned about the citizens of Searsport and as such had been a member of the Searsport Bay Area Lions Club since its formation. She was such a valuable and involved member that she had been elected as its president in the past and was currently the president of the club at the time of her death. BJ was also the recipient of the Lion of the Year award from that club for all that she did.

Always direct, and sometimes blunt, her heart and thoughts were always with those she cared about and her help was always as direct and immediate. Her friends were many and they will sorely miss her loyalty, unconditional love, and caring and supportive manner. Her advice was uncannily accurate and always given with thoughtfulness and love.

BJ's heart was overflowing with care and compassion for others, resulting in her being honored as the godmother of Noelle Kraeger of Pittsburgh.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Searsport Bay Area Lions Club. A memorial service will be announced.

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