Nancibel Rogers, businesswoman and commmunity leader, dies

February 23, 2004

Editor's Note: This story ran in Friday's Advocate-Messenger, but was omitted from the obituaries on We apologize for the mistake.

If there was one word that could sum up Nancibel Riffe Rogers’ life in the local community, it would be generous, according to people who knew and worked with her on community projects.

Friends recall the generosity of Rogers, 78, of Pleasantwood Drive, a local businesswoman and community leader, who died Tuesday at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center.

“Nancibel was by far the most generous person I ever met,” said Tom Christopher, a close friend and a Danville certified public accountant whose client list included Rogers. “She cared more about helping individual people than anyone I ever knew. She had a genuine heart to help other people.”


Her generosity, Christopher said, came from a “genuine joy in giving to others. She did not just feel it was an obligation. Giving to her was a thrill.”

Janie Pass, executive director of Heart of Kentucky United Way, saw the same generosity, both as Rogers’ friend and as head of the United Way.

“I recall back when Nancibel sold Riffemoor and retired. One of the things she got involved in was the United Way, and she played a key role in our allocations process,” said Pass. “Well, during one of our (fund-raising) campaigns, she decided she would add to the money we were allocating and wrote a check to the United Way for $3,000. Such an individual contribution from one person was mind-boggling. We had never received that kind of donation before.”

Rogers’ contribution gave Pass and the United Way board the idea of creating the Leadership Circle for people who give individual contributions of a minimum of $1,000 each and making a special category within the circle called the Alexis De Toqueville group for people who give a minimum of $10,000 each.

“Nancibel spurred us on with the idea of creating the club, saying there were several people in the community who could give that kind of money and would love doing so,” said Pass, adding that the Leadership Circle currently has 175 members.

But a lot of Rogers’ generosity was manifest less publicly, Pass said.

“I recall a time when a certain student wasn’t going to be able to attend an Odyssey of the Mind competition away from Danville because of finances,” she said. “When Nancibel heard there was a fund to pay for the student’s trip, she wrote a check and the child was able to go.

“Nancibel did so many good things for so many people in this community behind the scenes, and she wanted it that way,” Pass said. “Now I think the community needs to know what she did — and why we all will miss her so very much. What a lady she was. What a sweet, generous lady.”

Rogers was a former owner of Riffemoor Antiques, also known as of “Home of the Covered Wagon,” and Nancibel Williams Interiors. She was a member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), attended Danville High School and was a graduate of William Woods College in Columbia, Mo., and Stanford University. She was a member of American Institute of Designers, and co-chairwoman of Founders Circle of United Way.

Born April 9, 1925, in Somerset, Rogers was the daughter of the late Julian C. and Clarabel Irving Riffe.

Survivors include her husband, W. Scott Rogers of Danville; a daughter, Julie Ballard of Louisville; a stepdaughter, Donna Jo Rogers of Lexington; a stepson, Wicliffe Scott Rogers III of Danville; a granddaughter; and four step grandchildren.

Services will be 11 a.m. Monday at First Christian Church. Burial will be private.

Memorials may go to Heart of Kentucky, 118 N. Third St., Danville; First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 555 E. Lexington Ave., Danville; or Galilean Homes, P.O. Box 880 Liberty, Ky., 42539.

Visitation will be 2-5 p.m. Sunday at 440 Pleasantwood Drive.

Stith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Central Kentucky News Articles