Nelle Birkhead RoperRussellville, AR, 1919 - 2014
Nelle Birkhead Roper, of Russellville died on Sunday, October 12, 2014, at the Circle of Life Hospice in Springdale, just six days before her 95th birthday. The daughter of Thomas and Hattie Smith Birkhead, she was born in New Blaine, Arkansas on October 18, 1919.
Nelle is preceded in death by two sons, Charles Douglas, and John Paul; her daughter, Martha Jane, and Martha's two children, Blake and Dawn. She is survived by a daughter, Mary Helen; a daughter-in-law, Linda Henderson Roper, her daughters, Kellie Vanes and Karen Cook and Nelle's five great grand-children.
Nelle and Wilson Bruce Roper were married on April 24, 1936. Wilson traveled to California at the height of the depression to find work and Nelle followed by train, along with their first two children, Martha Jane and Charles Douglas.
Following World War II, the family moved to Paris, Arkansas, where children, John Paul and Mary Helen, were born. In 1947 they moved to Russellville, where Wilson founded W.B. Roper Real Estate Company and Roper Insurance Company.
A "classy lady", and an accomplished seamstress, Nelle made sure that she and her family were well dressed. She also was accomplished at needlework and arts and crafts. An active member of the Russellville Band Boosters, she encouraged her children to develop an appreciation of music.
Throughout her almost 95 years, and even in the face of great personal tragedy, Nelle remained independent and devoted to her family. Nelle was a lifelong member of the 5th and Greenwich Church of Christ, and could always be counted on to provide a delicious dish or dessert for church socials and fund raisers.
Visitation will be Friday, October 17, 2014, at Humphrey Chapel in Russellville from 1 p.m. until service time at 2 p.m. Dan Lightfoot will officiate. Burial will be at Rest Haven Memorial Park and under the direction of Humphrey Funeral Service, 2801 West Main Street, Russellville, Ark.
Nelle supported the Southern Christian Home for Children in Morrilton and the family requests that memorials be made in her honor to the Home, P.O. box 649, 100 W. Harding St. Morrilton, Ark 72110. www.schome.org.
Published October 14, 2014
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Humphrey Funeral Service Inc.
2801 W. Main St., Russellville, AR