A celebration of life service for Dr. Marjorie Roper, 96, of Bullard, was held Saturday, Jan. 6, at First United Methodist Church of Bullard, with Rev. David Brasher, officiating. Burial followed the service at Bullard Cemetery.
Known simply as “Dr. Roper,” she was called Home to be with her Lord and Savior the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 3 while in her childhood home in Bullard, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born to the late Hattie and Oran (O.L) Ferrell, owners of the O.L. Ferrell Drug Store, inside the Ferrell family home on Tuesday, June 7, 1921.
Roper attended school at Bullard Elementary and Bullard High Schools, graduating just shy of her 16th birthday as the BHS Class of 1937 valedictorian, then studied pre-medicine at Tyler Junior College, graduating in June 1939 as the third-highest graduate in her class.
In August 1939, she was accepted for early medical school after one year of additional pre-medicine studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Afterwards, she attended UT Medical Branch in Galveston, where she was one of only three female students. She received her M.D. degree from UTMB in 1943.
After working as an intern at Parkland Hospital and as a pediatric resident at Children’s Medical Center, she returned to her hometown to marry Leonard Bauman Roper on August 25, 1944, at First Baptist Church of Bullard.
Her medical career began as an associate at Andres-Cook Pediatric Practice in Longview, starting a nearly 60-year career of providing medical care to patients spanning from Civil War veterans to children in the 21st century.
She opened her medical practice in the back of her father’s drug store on Memorial Day 1947, following in the footsteps of her childhood idol, Dr. Claude Rather. She retired from her full-time medical practice after 59 years of providing medical care to countless Bullard residents and the surrounding communities.
She had an immense love for both her country and her community. Two of her greatest community passions were the Bullard Mission House and the Bullard Community Library. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her memory to these community organizations.
Roper was preceded in death by her parents, Hattie and Oran (O.L.) Ferrell; two brothers, Dr. Oran L. Ferrell and Robert Ferrell; and sister, Dorothy Bedell.
She is survived by three sons, Dan Roper of Shalimar, FL; and Tom Roper and Richard Roper, both of Bullard; a daughter, Harriet Page of Bullard; thirteen grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren; three nieces and two nephews. She was considered as a mother and grandmother to countless others.