November 27, 2020, 84, Bucklesberry
Shirley Ann Powell Rouse, 84, saw her faith become sight as she closed her eyes to this world and opened them in Heaven, resting in the arms of her Master. Shirley was born in Duplin County on May 8, 1936 to the late Walter and Alice Kornegay Powell. Her beloved husband of 39 years, J.B. Rouse, preceded her in death in 1994.
Shirley had a loving and generous spirit about her. Whether dealing with her family, neighbors, or a stranger, her care was evident and sincere. If there was something you needed, she was first to step up and help out. When it came to her neighbors, she looked after them and they looked after her. They were an extension to her family, and loved each other as such.
As the matriarch of her family, Shirley had a way to garner attention. Everyone knew when her hand came up, it was time to be quiet. When her mind was made up, that was the end of discussion. When she would seek affirmation of her stance, she’d look over at J.B. and say, “ain’t that right, J.B?” If she called, her children would stop in their tracks to attend to her need. Her children often heard, “open them blinds”, or “hand me a kleenex”. There was never a question where she stood—if she spoke, you listened. Her sweet side and motherly instinct endeared her family to her requests, and they gladly obliged.
Meticulous in her ways, Shirley wanted everything to be just right. Her yard was to be cut just so and her food was to be prepared as she wanted. Her family fondly recalls many a fish stew cooked and pound cakes baked. Her fried chicken was the best, and no one baked cornbread like she could. Although Shirley was an excellent cook, she loved to eat out as well, eating pizza with family, getting a snack tray from Ken’s, or anything from Bojangles. Shirley loved Bojangles so much, her family said her blood type was Bo-positive.
Time spent reading a good book was precious to Shirley. If a novel came out by Nicholas Sparks or Karen Kingsbury, she was sure to read it. She spent many hours in study and strengthening her faith with the commentaries of J. Vernon McGee. From cross-stitching to word searches to reading, Shirley filled her days with activity.
Shirley was a Godly, Christian lady who was profound in her faith and shared it in her service at White Oak Grove Free Will Baptist Church. In earlier years, she served as the youth leader and taught Sunday School. As often as the church doors opened, Shirley was there to worship her Lord.
Next to her faith, nothing was more prized than her family. Shirley loved her two children dearly and thought of her in-laws as one of her own. When grandchildren came along, her children took the backseat as the title “Mema” took prominence in her life. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren dearly, and they loved her just as much.
A graveside service to remember Shirley’s life will be held Monday, November 30, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. at Fairview Cemetery in La Grange.
Left to cherish Shirley’s memory are her children, Melony Brown and husband, Larry, and Thomas Rouse and wife, Janice; grandchildren, Brandon Rouse and wife, Lauren, Melissa Rouse and friend, Chad Baker, Matthew Brown and wife, Jessica, and Christopher Brown and wife, Makayla; great-grandchildren, Rebecca, Andrew, Kamryn, Mikah, and James; brother, Dulan Powell; sister, Jean Stanford and husband, Alvin; along with many loving nieces and nephews. Shirley was preceded in death by three siblings, Marlene Aldridge, Alton Powell, and Carl Powell.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to White Oak Grove Free Will Baptist Church, c/o Janet Brown, 1794 Jenny Lind Road, La Grange, NC 28551. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.