Rogene Smith has been named this year's Missouri Day Grand Marshal by the Missouri Day Committee and her fellow community members. The Grand Marshal is a longstanding tradition of the Missouri Day Parade as a way to honor the pillar patrons of the Fowler Community, like Rogene.

Rogene was born in Fowler in 1930 and graduated from Fowler High School in 1948. She married JR Smith, and the couple planted their roots a few miles north of town. They had four children; Beverly, Jim, Jerry, and Jay.

JR and Rogene's children graduated from Fowler High School as well, where they were involved in sports and other extracurricular activities. Rogene remembers being actively engaged in their school and sports activities.

The couple eventually sold their farm and moved within the city limits. Today, Rogene still lives in that same house, with the immaculate yard that she continues to manage mostly by herself.

"I couldn't have a lawn in the country because of the sand, so when I moved to town I was excited to have a lawn and a pretty yard" explains Rogene.

Ms. Smith worked in the restaurant business as a waitress for many years. She worked for Lee's Cafe for 41 years, and ultimately retired from Stockman's in the early 2000s. She credits her time at these establishments for the numerous friendships she has made. "I always made sure to smile and greet people with kindness, and I think that is why I became friends with not just the regular coffee drinkers, but also with strangers just passing through," says Rogene.

At the restaurant, she even befriended travelers from Australia whom she stays in touch with to this day.

Currently, Rogene plays piano every Sunday at the First Baptist Church, and she enjoys going to the Senior Center for their delicious meals and fun fellowship. For her health and enjoyment, Rogene also walks the streets of Fowler daily.

Her four children still live in Colorado, and she is the proud grandma of 8 grandkids, and 22 great-grandkids.

Rogene humbly reflects on the Grand Marshal honor by saying, "It's an honor to be chosen as Grand Marshal, but it blows my mind because there are so many other people doing great things."

Given her interest in music and dancing, Rogene's favorite Missouri Day memory is when they would play the "Missouri Waltz" at noon in the park. She also feels the event is an excellent way for the community to get together and maintain their strong bonds- which is what she appreciates the most about a small town like Fowler.

When you spend time with Rogene, it's obvious why she is a valued member of the Fowler community. She gives kindness to strangers, devotion to her loved ones, and takes pride in her community. On behalf of the city of Fowler, the Missouri Day Committee would like to thank Ms. Smith for making their small town a better place.

Rogene will be honored during the historic Missouri Day Parade which takes place in Fowler on Saturday, July 21, at 10 a.m. As Grand Marshal, Ms. Smith will lead the parade through town.
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