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Dayton Area Broadcasters 
Hall of Fame

Bette Rogge Memorial Page

By Kelli Wynn

Dayton Daily NewsStaff Writer

Longtime radio and television personality Bette Rogge Morse has died, according to her son-in-law Craig Murakami of Kettering.

Rogge Morse died of natural causes at her Kettering home on Tuesday.

“She passed away very peacefully,” said Murakami.

The Dayton native, who was born in the 1920s, was inducted into the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame (DABHOF) in 2003 after spending decades on radio and television stations that included WING ,WHIO, GTV-19 and DGTV/DATV, according to her hall of fame and University of Dayton bios.

“Bette was the ‘Grande Dame’ of Dayton area broadcasting,” said Jason Michaels, DABHOF board member and Cox Media Group radio news anchor and announcer. “She started on local radio, then made the transition to television hosting on Channel 7. I had the pleasure of interviewing her at the last Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame reception, where she was happy to reminisce and was as witty as she ever was.”

Rogge Morse became the first woman in the area to host a local TV variety show, which aired during the 1960s and 1970s. She later had an interview show on local cable TV during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Retha Phillips, DABHOF co-founder, said she met Rogge Morse in the early 1990s.

“If you asked her to do an interview, she wouldn’t need a script; she could just adlib. She was just a very versatile person. She was just professional in every aspect,” said Phillips, who is Dayton’s first black female broadcaster. “She was a great friend. Her and her husband were just nice, nice people. I’m just thrilled to say that I knew her and what a great person she was.”

Rogge Morse is survived by her husband Wayne H. Morse Sr., daughter Melissa (Craig) Murakami of Kettering, son Wayne (Melissa) H. Morse Jr. of Atlanta and grandchildren Tyler and Jordan Morse, also of Atlanta.

Rogge Morse hosted a variety show called The Bette Rogge Show from 1967 to 1972 on WHIO-TV. Some of her guests included entertainer Liberace, actress Loretta Swit, and actor William Shatner.

Rogge Morse graduated from the University of Dayton in 1944 before attending Northwestern and Colombia universities for post-graduate work in English and drama, according to UD’s Archives and Special Collections department. She also received her master’s degree from UD in 1977, the same year she started teaching communications at UD.

Nancy Stork of Dayton was working in UD’s Advancement Office when she met Rogge Morse, who was also one of the first women to serve on the university’s Board of Trustees from 1975 to 1981.

“I watched her interview celebrities in person and on the film collection they presented to UD and was impressed with her kind and thoughtful style,” Stork said. “Bette always did her homework and knew how to bring out the best in whomever she was interviewing. She never asked inappropriate questions that might embarrass someone. But, she loved to have fun and had a quick wit and sparkling laugh.”

Dayton Daily News Jan 22, 2015

Bette Rogge, married name Bette Morse, is an American radio and television presenter, talk show host and journalist.

Early life and education

Rogge is a graduate of University of Dayton (UD)[1] and did post graduate work at Northwestern and Columbia Universities. She completed her masters degree at UD in 1977.[2] During her studies, she presented commercial announcements for Jesse Philips at the Home Store.

Career in radio and television

She began her radio career in the early 1950s at WSMK in Dayton, Ohio with Jack Wymer as the station announcer.[3]

Rogge started on TV in the early 1950s with an exercise show called "The Perfect Pair," starring Bette and Toby Tobias, a fitness expert from the YMCA. She also worked on "Dietz & Rogge show", "Betty Bonner", "Meet the Boss", "Don's House" and many others.

Rogge was the Women's Editor and commercial announcer on the WHIO radio program, "Newspaper of the Air" each morning for four years.[4]

From 1967 until 1972 Rogge had her own talk show, "The Bette Rogge Show,"[5][6] featuring such guests as Bob Hope, the Nixon daughters, Mickey Rooney, Paul Lynde, Tommy Tune, Jerry Orbach, Lucie Arnaz, Pat O'Brien, and Tony Randall.[7]

Rogge also announced regular radio and television commercials for many local businesses. [8] She worked two days a week at WBNS-TV and WLW~C TV in Columbus. In the 1950s, Bette did the first color TV commercial (Royal Crest Dairy)[7] at WLW-D and the first color national television feed from Wright-Patterson AFB with the Howdy Doody show team who were in Dayton for the Community Chest.

One of the highlights of her television career was special 30 minute TV tour of the White House in 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson hosted King Olav of Norway. Bette interviewed Liz Carpenter, Chef Henry Haller, the White House florist and was part of a reception held by Mrs.Johnson. She also was a guest at the Norwegian Embassy when King Olav entertained President Johnson. This 30 minute show was aired on WHIO-TV.

As a reporter, Rogge covered the lift-off of Apollo 14, interviewed astronauts and NASA officials and presented a Kittyhawk replica to local leaders. She covered the pre-opening of Disney World, did a special interview from the Goodyear Blimp, and a special TV hostess for the Dayton-based celebrity golf tournament Bogie Busters.[7] She also did feature shows from the Indy 500, including an interview with A.J. Foyt as they drove around the track. She also did a series of special interviews with Jack Lord of Hawaii 50 and Don Ho when she was in Hawaii in 1970.

Rogge also appeared on the national Virginia Graham Show in New York with Erma Bombeck in 1968. Rogge has a theater background and appeared in a number of John Kenley Shows throughout Ohio. She has also been featured in a number of national magazines.

In 1977 Rogge was included on the Dayton Daily News list of Dayton's Ten Top Women.[9]

Since 1995, Rogge has hosted the cable TV show Cultural Scene, produced by Retha Phillips. She interviews local and national personalities who have influence on our cultural life, including Cliff Robertson, Frank Borman, Buzz Aldrin, Benjamin Schuster, Chuck Yeager, Patricia Neal and many others.[7]

In 2003, she was inducted into the Dayton Broadcasters Hall of Fame.[10]

University of Dayton

Rogge served as an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton, teaching communication. She later served on the university's Board of Trustees.[6] In 1999 the University presented her with an Honorary Doctorate Degree.[11] An award in her name is presented each year to an outstanding senior woman in the field of communication.[12] Her papers and recordings of her radio and television shows are the subject of a collection at the University of Dayton Archives,[11] where she and her husband, Wayne Morse, owner of a local advertising and public relations firm, [13] have also contributed a collection about the Kenley Player theater group.[14]

Community service

As well as her work at the University of Dayton, Rogge served the president of the local Salvation Army chapter and the Easter Seals.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia