Marshall Junior Rouse

Monday, January 11, 2016
Marshall Junior Rouse

Marshall Junior Rouse was born October 9, 1932, to Joseph Marshall Rouse and Charles Augusta (Seagraves) Rouse in Manila, Ark. Junior was an only child. He was married to Betty Lanell Walker of Manila, in 1952. To this union four children were born.

Junior is survived by his children, Dennis Bradley and Claire Roeder Rouse, Debra Lanell Whaley and Vance Whaley and Rodney Marice Rouse and Kim Dolores (Bellers) Rouse, all of Piggott and Betina Wynonne Bell and Jeff Bell of Webster Grove, Mo.; his grandchildren, Dana Lanell Long and husband Brian of Greensboro, N.C., Mckenzie Augusta Rouse, Joseph Marshall Rouse II and wife Beth and Kalem Fulton Rouse all of Piggott, Jon Cory Robertson of Fayetteville, Kelli Lanell Carroll and Husband Tony of North Little Rock and Braedon Grey and Christian Thomas Bell of Webster Grove, Mo.; his great-grandchildren, Riley Renee and Dillon Bradley of Greensboro, N.C., Ansley Claire, Aubrey Jane, Shiloh Alston, Addie Mae and Layla Grace all of Piggott and Cotton Rouse Carroll of North Little Rock, who will arrive in March 2016.

Junior proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy after graduating from Manila High School, was a Korean War Veteran and also served in the National Guard. After leaving active duty in the Navy he returned home to his family farming operation and remained active in farming for some 43 years until his retirement in 1995. Junior had a wide range of business interests over the years. He was an active commodities trader, a licensed real estate broker, owned a local motel, built, owned and operated what was then known as the Arkansas State Revenue Office, located at 195 South Thornton in Piggott, among other business interests.

Junior joined First Baptist Church in Greenway, Ark., in the early 1950s upon moving to this part of the country from the Hornersville, Mo., area and subsequently moved his membership to First Baptist Church in Piggott in the late 1960s after the present First Baptist Church on Main Street was constructed.

He was a staunch Republican and was actively involved in politics in the late 60s and 70s. Among his most cherished memories related to politics was his work with the campaign of Winthrop Rockefeller who served as Arkansas' 37th Governor from 1967 through 1971. In later years he also actively campaigned for Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Winthrop Paul Rockefeller and was subsequently appointed to the Arkansas Board of Corrections upon which he served two terms.

Junior was an avid sports fan and was himself a championship basketball player at Manila High School back in the day. In his later years as his pace slowed and his routine grew less complicated, he busied himself learning how to operate a computer, his Iphone and doing volunteer work to help maintain the Farmer's Market. Most of all Junior was proud of his children and grandchildren and he made sure we all knew almost every time we said goodbye that he considered us his crowning achievement. Marshall Junior Rouse, aged 83 years, outlived a long list of good friends and family and will be missed dearly by those he left behind.

As those who really knew my Dad already knows, he was a complicated man. He came from place in life that was harsh and unforgiving. Born poor and an only child to a set of parents that were themselves burdened with the trials of depression era farming, together the three of them rose to experience the financial success of the American dream. As do most people that emerge from difficult circumstances, they all carried their own personal burdens and fears and were shaped by them. Dad took much criticism for the ways he coped with the burdens he carried. He loved my mother deeply, but was a bachelor for 39 years. He was a solitary man, but in later years he found some peace. He found peace in having a small circle and a simplified routine and in being close enough to his kids and grandkids to see them often and he took great pleasure and found great joy in watching us all "do our thing" as he always said. All he ever wanted was for us to be safe and have what we wanted, but most importantly to be together. The path to becoming a man is not a path a person chooses, it is a path we are set upon by God himself. There are many degrees of success. Some are obvious. Some are not. My father reached the end of his path with an appreciation for things once not known to him when he started, as will we all.

It is a cruel constant that, as humans, we must sometimes pass a point of no return to realize what we've lost and to appreciate the people who have shaped our lives into what we have become. My dad made me the man that I am, for better or worse. Though some lessons were learned by being taught what not to do, many more where learned through his advice and suggestions and council, most of which were never followed until the consequences he had warned of had already happened. Today my brother, sisters, and I lay to rest our father, our Dad. We lay to rest the person that was always the most proud of any of our accomplishments and loved us so much that he was easy to impress and considered us his only real accomplishment. For us, there will never be another because when you have lost both your parents, you have lost the only two people you will ever have that love you without condition. All other relationships have the potential to be severed, but if a child were to cut off the head of his parent, they would love him even as he did so.

God Bless you Dad. God bless us all.

A visitation was held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10, at Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home with Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home of Piggott, Ark., in charge of the arrangements. The family suggests memorials to the Piggott American Legion post or the Piggott Elementary School Needy Children's Fund.

No man is an island

Nor will he ever be

Molded by the same hand

That belongs to divinity

No man is an island

No man stands alone

Each man's joy is joy to me

Each man's grief is my own

We need one another

So I will defend

Each man as my brother

Each man as my friend

I saw the people gather

I heard the music start

The song that they were singing

Is ringing in my heart

No man is an island

Way out in the blue

We all look to the one above

For our strength to renew