Doris Pearce Mullen Raper, age 86, suffered a stroke and passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on February 12, 2013 at Hospice Home of Wake County, where she was cared for during her last days by a professional and loving staff. Born in Franklin County, North Carolina on May 9, 1926, she was the daughter of Ivey and Lillie Pearce. Her brothers, Donald Pearce and Frederick Pearce, as well as her husband Melvin Mullen, the father of her three sons, preceded her in death.
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Doris lived and worked on the family farm in Franklin County alongside her husband Melvin Mullen until his death in 1969. While raising her sons on the farm she also worked full-time at Westinghouse in Raleigh, from which she retired after 28 years. She was very active in Bunn Baptist Church in Bunn, NC, particularly in the church choir. After moving to Rocky Mount, NC in 1988 to be closer to her children, she joined Sunset Baptist Church, continuing her love of music in the choir. Later she moved her membership to First Baptist Church in Rocky Mount and was active in The Inspiration Singers Choir until her death. In 1989 she met and married Ashley Raper, who was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2057. Doris became a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW and held many elected offices, including the office of post president and aide to the national president. She received many awards for her leadership, and enjoyed traveling with her husband as they represented their local VFW post at gatherings around the country.
Doris is survived by her husband, Ashley Raper; her sisters: Mary Hinnant of Wendell and Dolores Chalk of Zebulon; her brother, Phil Pearce of Raleigh; and her sons: Jackie Mullen and wife Judy of Zebulon, Charles Mullen and wife Pam of Rocky Mount, and Craig Mullen of Rocky Mount. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Sarah Mullen and husband Matt Hedstrom of Charlottesville, VA, Eric Mullen and Cara Permar of Raleigh, Matthew Mullen and wife Elizabeth of Asheville, Berkley Mullen and wife Katherine of Gaston Lake, Dominee Ehrhardt and husband Dan of Raleigh, Kai Mullen and wife Amanda of Raleigh, Aaron Fly of Rocky Mount, and Garrett Fly of Rocky Mount; and her great-grandchildren: Luci, Simon, Ethan, Drew, Noah, Joshua, Hannah, and Rebecca.
Services celebrating Doris's life will be at First Baptist Church of Rocky Mount on Saturday, February 16, 2013 with Rev. Jim Alley officiating. The family will receive friends at First Baptist at 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm, followed by a memorial service at 2:00 pm. The burial will be at Rocky Mount Memorial Park at 4454 N. Dortches Blvd. immediately following the memorial service. The family will receive friends other times at the home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB #7295, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7295; Wake County Hospice Home, 200 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607; and First Baptist Church, 200 South Church Street, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.
Arrangements are entrusted to Wheeler and Woodlief Funeral Home, 11320 N. Winstead Avenue, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. You may share memories and condolences with the family by visiting www.wheelerwoodlief.com.
Wheeler & Woodlief Funeral Home - Rocky Mount
1130 N. Winstead Ave Rocky Mount , NC 27804
Published in Rocky Mount Telegram on Feb. 15, 2013