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1925 Carolyn 2018

Carolyn Elizabeth Roades

February 9, 1925 — December 26, 2018

Carolyn Elizabeth Roten Roades   Elizabeth Roades, age 93, of Wharton, died Wednesday, December 26, 2018. Elizabeth was born on February 9, 1925, on a strawberry farm outside of Mena, Arkansas to Mary Louise Austin Roten, a home demonstration agent, and Robert Lee Roten, a carpenter and mechanic.  To this marriage were born 3 other daughters: Mary Lee Hillyer of Victoria, Anna Ruth Schoeneberg of Louise, and Margaret Heiling of Port Lavaca, who all predeceased her.  In 1925, when Elizabeth was 2 months old, her family moved to Wharton when her father was named the manager of her uncle John Roten’s dry goods store in El Campo. She attended first & second grades in Wharton, then her family moved to El Campo. She spent some summers with her uncle, David Yancy Thomas, a history professor, who instilled in her a great appreciation for history, which she passed on to her sons.  Elizabeth was Salutatorian of her El Campo high school class of 1942 and a graduate of Wharton County Junior College.  During the late 1930’s her uncle, John Roten, gave the Roten sisters voice lessons and they began singing for the Lions Club meetings and conventions all across Texas. During World War II the Roten sisters teamed up with the Jacobson sisters to form a sextet and entertained the troops stationed at Camp Hulen in Palacios and the USO’s in Port Lavaca, Victoria, and Galveston.              Elizabeth worked at John Russell Chevrolet and later as secretary to the El Campo school district Superintendent. After the war ended, Ora Elwood Roades, then a Major in the US Army, returned home to El Campo.  They married in 1947 and from this marriage came three sons, Charles, John and Robert.  Charles, married to Paulette Brandl Roades, is a retired attorney living in Wharton.  John, married to Therese Pavlas Roades, practices law in Wharton.  Robert was a mentally challenged individual who lived at home with his parents. Elizabeth was his devoted caregiver and her efforts giving loving care to Robert 24 hours a day were heroic. In later years, Elizabeth and Richmond State School shared in Robert’s care.  One grandchild, Jennifer Lynn Roades, died at birth.  Granddaughters, Leslie Carol Roades, and Elizabeth Ann Roades survive her.              Elizabeth and Ora lived in El Campo when Ora was hired as the first instructor for the newly formed Wharton County Junior College. They later moved to Austin, Texas while Ora earned his Ph.D. in Junior College Education. Serving as Dean, other moves followed to Athens, Texas; Tishomingo, Oklahoma; Scottsbluff, Nebraska and then back to Wharton where Ora served as Dean at Wharton County Junior College for the next 18 years until he retired. Elizabeth and Ora traveled in their van enjoying seeing the United States. He preceded her in death in 1997.             Singing in the Methodist Church Choir was Elizabeth’s hobby and passion for over 80 years. She sang for many weddings, funerals and civic organizations. For 39 years she shared her love for music and desire to spread Christmas joy by organizing choral groups to sing in facilities and to individuals at their doorsteps.  She will always be remembered for her wit, sense of humor, positive outlook on life, empathy for others and insightful comments.             The Family wishes to thank Elmcroft Assisted Living of Wharton, S.P.J.S.T. Hillje Nursing home, and Hospice of El Campo for their loving care. Memorial service will be celebrated Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Wharton, Texas. Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Choir.
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