Mary F. Roper


Mary F. Roper, 96, of Bloomington, passed away peacefully at 8:47 a.m. Oct. 28, 2016, at her home.

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at Wesley United Methodist Church, Bloomington, with the Rev. Vaughn Hoffman officiating.

Mary was born June 14, 1920, in Murphysboro, a daughter of Jacob Charles Yarborough and Anna Lee Hunsaker Yarborough. She married the Rev. O. Martin Roper on May 29, 1943, in St. Louis, Mo.

Surviving are two daughters, Nancy Reed and Linda (Richard) Nolen, both of Bloomington; and three sons, Pat Martin (Nora) Roper, Lillian, Ala.; Bruce Roper, Chicago; and Steve Roper, Normal. Also surviving are 20 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Martin; her parents, sister and brother; and her granddaughter, Phoebe.

During World War II, she went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis, where she met her future husband. Martin went into the ministry, and so her life revolved around church activities and her family. She also worked as a bank teller for several years.

Mary was a prolific needle worker. Her mother gave her a crochet needle at age 3 and, until age 93, she almost always had a needle in her hand. Whether it was from sewing, knitting, quilting or needle-pointing, she filled her home and the homes of others with hundreds of her beautiful handmade treasures. These works were featured a few years ago in a Life section cover story in this newspaper.

She enjoyed visits from her friends, “The Knitters,” and the time spent with her adopted family of Dr. Fang Li. Family friend Judy Prose helped her through these last years. The family would like to thank her and OSF Hospice Care for the visits and tender care she received from them. She will be greatly missed by all.

Memorials may be made to Wesley United Methodist Church.