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Honoring the Life and Legacy of Agnes Kelley Roark, BMTS '51

Mrs. Agnes Kelley Roark “Aggie” a faithful supporter of CRCDS joined her Savior early Easter morning on the day celebrating His Resurrection. Aggie was a devout Christian with missionary zeal for working with young children, and for laboring with those in need of hope and guidance.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, on February 6, 1924, to Fred Edward Kelley and Clara Augusta Butler, and into what would become a large family of eleven children: Agnes was the middle child between four brothers and seven sisters. At a very young age, her parents moved to Atlantic, Iowa, where Aggie attended the public schools for all grades. While she was still in school, her father died suddenly at an early age, leaving her mother with a large family to raise and support. While still in school and later, Aggie worked from the home to pay her portion of household support.

Aggie became a Christian while a member of the First Baptist Church in Atlantic, Iowa and taught Sunday School for children from the time she was twelve. While attending a special youth conference, she felt led to further her education at a religious college, through support of the local church and some of its members.

She enrolled in missionary training and Christian education for young children in the Baptist Missionary Training School. With a Bachelor of Arts Degree, she began home missionary work under the Women’s American Baptist Home Mission Society at the H.C. Gleiss Memorial Center for disadvantaged minority children in downtown Detroit. After three years, Aggie was offered a job as Christian Education Director at the First Baptist Church of Rapid City, South Dakota. While there, she met her future husband, John, then a lieutenant at the nearby Air Force Base.

Subsequently moving to Killeen, Texas, then to Temple, College Station, Waco, and Wichita Falls, she became the mother to two sons. After the boys were in school, Aggie completed work for a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Midwestern University, and then, responding to the focus on the kindergarten level in Texas, she completed work on a master’s degree in Kindergarten Education from Texas Woman’s University. She then taught for eight years in DISD at the Jose Navarro Elementary School in West Dallas, followed by years of working in private schools at the kindergarten level.

Aggie was preceded in death by her mature son, Dennis Ray, infant son Dean Archer, and infant daughter Elizabeth Ann. She is survived by her husband, John J. Roark, son Daniel Lee Roark (wife, Cyndy), granddaughter Jennifer Kelley Strockbine (husband, Chris Strockbine), grandsons Daniel Conner, Dennis Cameron, and Jefferson Dean Roark, and granddaughter Kelley Elizabeth Strockbine.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday, May 3, at First Baptist Church Richardson in Richardson, Texas.

Posted by David Riddell at 10:04