Claude David Roper
Claude David Roper passed away March 30, 2021, at age 90 due to natural causes after a prolonged struggle with pulmonary fibrosis and ultimately congestive heart failure. He was born September 21, 1930, in Wasco, CA to Claude Albert and Artie Lou Roper. Claude Albert was foreman for a large cattle ranch who met his future wife when he hired her as cook for the crew of cowboys who oversaw the 50,000+ head operation.
By 1940 the family - including his half-sister Emma Jean Smoot - relocated to Arkansas where his mother's family had land which they began farming. In 1951, while on leave from the Navy, Claude David married the love of his life, Mary Pauline Lyerly, in Leachville, AR.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1954, he and Mary moved to Michigan where he found good employment with General Motors-Flint. There were three who made this move: Claude, Mary, and their young daughter Regina, who was born in 1951 while Claude was serving on board the USS Iowa in the Korean War. In 1957 daughter Rebecca Roper was born, and the family was complete.
Flint was their home until his retirement from GM in 1987 at which time he and Mary built a home on family land in Ash Flat, AR. After Mary's passing in 2005, Claude relocated to Mountain Home where he settled into an amazing senior community. The friends he made there became an extension of his "family."
Claude was a man of few words, but when he spoke it was with kindness, warmth, and humor. All who had any interaction with him spoke fondly of him and marveled at his "sweetness." He loved his family, was a wonderful provider, worshipped the Lord, and was an awesome woodworker.
From building cabinets and tables for his home in the woods in Ash Flat, AR to winning top prizes at the Baxter County Fair for his wood carvings, he was a proud member of the Northwest Arkansas Woodcarvers Association and made many wonderful friends there.
He was a faithful member of Eastside Baptist Church in Mountain Home and also had a close relationship with JR Cousins, minister from Mountain Home Baptist Church.
Claude leaves behind his daughters Regina Roper (Ivins, UT) and Rebecca Roper (KeriKeri, NZ); cherished relatives: Pat Hill, Sue Bogden, Jan Malendowski, Dub Lyerly; and a multitude of dear neighbors who looked after him in his declining years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his half-sister, Emma Jean Brannum; and his beloved wife, Mary.
Visitation of family and friends will be Friday, April 2, from 1-2 p.m. in the chapel of Tri-County Funeral Home in Highland, AR with a graveside service to follow in Oaklawn Cemetery at Highland.
Published in Baxter Bulletin from Apr. 1 to Apr. 2, 2021.