Tag Archives: Roleke

Wordless Wednesday – Gangster Style

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I kid, I kid.

They aren’t gangsters.

They sure remind me of them though in this picture.  Perhaps I watch to many movies.

Emma Roleke, William Roleke, and Robert Jones

Emma Roleke (left, would be a step 2nd Great Grandmother to me), third wife of William Roleke (center), my 2nd Great-Grandfather, and Robert Jones (right), my Great Great Uncle.


Happy Mother’s Day!

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I took this picture of my Momma last year, but I love it.

Mary Helen Parks Higginbotham

She is a wonderful, wonderful woman and words can’t even begin to express how much I love her.  I see her daily struggle with Alzheimer’s and it saddens me to no end.  If I could have one wish granted it would be to take this horrible disease away from my mother.  She has never expressed one worry about her herself throughout this whole ordeal.  She worries about being a burden and what she is doing to us.  I tell her and I mean it, she will never be a burden.  EVER.  We love her and we will see this through with her, together as a family.

These two boys, are the apple of my eye.  I love them to the moon and back and I am so thankful God chose me to be their mother.

Justin Cole and Michael Cunningham

Yesterday I called my Dad and asked him to think about a special memory of his mother and to ask my mother to do the same.  When I called back later in the day, they had some stories for me to share with you.

Dad told me that when he was about 5 or 6 years old, his momma played on the women’s Independence Basketball Team as a guard and they always played at the North Heights Gym in Texarkana. He loved to go and watch her play. This is one of his favorite memories of her. This is a picture of my Dad with his Mother, Edna Harris Higginbotham at an anniversary party for my Mom and Dad. It was their 25th anniversary. This year will be their 49th anniversary.

Rufus Higginbotham and Edna Harris Higginbotham

Here is a picture of Dad and Memaw from the way back files.

Edna Harris Higginbotham and Rufus Higginbotham

Mom told me that one day when she was a little girl she and her mother were walking down the street in downtown Texarkana and as they got closer and closer they could hear the radio playing over the loud-speaker at Hawkins Feed Store, and they heard the announcement that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. My grandmother grabbed my mother’s hand and they ran all the way home. Not long after that, my grandfather volunteered for the Army and ended up in Japan fighting. They lived with my great-grandfather Parks at the time in what my mother calls “The Big House”, on Walnut Street in downtown Texarkana. Granddad Parks took in women to live in the house whose men were away at ar, and my mother remembers all the good times she had with all the women in the house. After the war was over she and my grandmother went to Fort Chaffee to pick up my grandfather, and he was so skinny and worn down they walked right by him and didn’t even recognize him until he called out to them.

Here is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather Parks.

Bill and Mary Parks

This is the house they lived in during the war, and until my Granddad Parks died in 1966.  My mother always lived here until she went to college.  She had a room in the big house with her grandparents, and my grandparents lived in the little apartment house to the side of the big house.  This house is at 406 Walnut.  A group of lawyers have it now and they have restored it beautifully.  They gave my mom and I tour of it one time.

The Big House, 406 Walnut, Texarkana Arkansas

This is a picture of my mom and grandmother, probably at about the time of the war.

Mary and Mary Helen Parks

One of my favorite memories of my mother and I (I have many though) is the time she, Addie and I went to Bethany, Missouri and found out all about her maternal grandmother’s family that she had never met.  Her grandmother died giving birth to her father so she had never known her.  Her name was Helen Roleke Parks and her father was the mayor of Bethany for 32 years!  Addie took this picture of Mom and I standing by a street sign for a road they named for him.

My Mom and I in Bethany Missouri by a street named after my 2nd great grandfather

Well, that’s our walk down Mother Memory Lane, I hope you will take the time out today to think of your favorite memories and preserve them for future generations.  Had I not asked my father and mother for their memories to do this post, I would never have known my grandmother Higginbotham played basketball!


Sympathy Saturday – Helen Roleke Parks

Born –  10 Aug 1890

Died – 10 Sep 1915

It seemed only fitting I pick my great-grandmother Helen Roleke Parks for Sympathy Saturday this week.  She died 96 years ago today, just a week after giving birth to my grandfather, William (Bill) John Parks.  As you will read in the following article, she died from complications of a cesarean section.  Her death certificate in fact states that she died from paralysis of the bowels following cesarean section.

I don’t know who to have more sympathy for, my great-grandmother for her sacrifice, my great-grandfather for losing his wife and faced with raising a son alone, my grandfather for having never known his mother, or for Helen’s father William Roleke, and the trials he suffered at the time.  His wife and Helen’s mother, Anna Schultze Roleke passed away in March of the same year that Helen died.  His mother died just a few weeks after his wife.  Imagine losing your wife, mother and daughter, all in a six month period.  He must have been a very strong man to have survived all the sorrow he must have felt.

I dream of finding more obituaries like this.  This is the first obituary that I found when I started researching my family tree, and it’s the only one I have ever seen written quite like this.  The detail is unbelievable, and gave such an insight into their lives.  I have two whole newspapers that this obituary was in, and one of them is stamped with my great-grandfather’s name, JT Parks.  All of which were in the stack my grandmother was going to throw away, luckily I was there and she let me keep them.  Otherwise, I would have never known what this family went through, when my grandfather came into the world.

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