When Evelyn Hope stood to talk at family gatherings, everyone would shout “Stand up, Evelyn!” While she was small in stature, she stood tall and she stood out, as she stepped up to the challenges of life.
Born in Bradshaw, Texas, on February 17, 1922, to parents Horace Oscar Abbott and his wife, Pearle, the first daughter and only girl for over eight years, to the delight of her brothers Everett (b. 1920), James (b. 1924), and Merriel (b. 1927). Evelyn contended well and learned to stand up for herself early on, embracing the traits of determination (some might say she was stubborn), tenacity, and resolve. Riding calves on Sunday afternoons, sister Evelyn rode just like her brothers did, and she managed to get bucked off a few times!
Two more sisters would come to Evelyn’s rescue: Mary Beth (b. 1930) and Ilene (b. 1936). One more brother, H.O. (b. 1932), completed Horace and Pearlie’s seven children.
Early in her career, she was a whiz executive secretary who could type 120 words a minute. She was a true crackerjack—cute, humorous, generous. She held many important career positions including working at Airfoil Impeller Company for many years as well as working in Civil Service in Japan at the headquarters of Gen. Douglas McArthur after World War II.
Evelyn’s first boyfriend was Ernest Haps, and while he wasn’t a “keeper” for her, she always cherished the little gold watch he gave her. Kidding Evelyn was fun, because she saw a lot of things in life as black and white, with no gray areas.
She was a cherished friend because you could count on her to give you her opinion. Not only was she convinced in her opinions on life, she was convinced in her love of Christ as she stood up for Him every day. Evelyn embraced her membership and the active community of her family of faith at First United Methodist Church of Bryan.
Evelyn met and married the love of her life, Lt. Col. Arvil E. Rolfe, and she gave birth to their son Gregory, daughter, Loretta, and son Michael, which comprised their immediate, loving family.
Arvil and Evelyn were world travelers, and they lived in Japan, Germany, and France, wherever his career took her. She was efficient and effective, determined to get things done. She was independent and fearless. Evelyn was also beyond strong when, in May 1981, Arvil died, and two months later, their son, Gregory, died in an accident.
Ever the example of strength, Evelyn stepped up to assume the role of family matriarch when her mother, Pearle, passed away. This role meant taking on active memberships and roles in the Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Daughters of 1812, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
In her free time, she loved volunteering with the nonprofit group Compassionate Friends, which offers comfort to parents whose children have preceded them in death. Evelyn also loved attending Texas A&M football and baseball games.
Evelyn passed away Tuesday, February 26, 2019, in Bryan, at the age of 97, a woman who faithfully fulfilled many inspirational roles as beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, great-aunt and cherished friend. She is preceded in death by her parents, Horace and Pearle; brothers, Everett and Merriel; husband, Arvil; and son, Gregory.
Evelyn is survived by her brothers, H.O. Abbott and James Abbott; sisters, Mary Beth Drake and Ilene James and numerous nieces and nephews; her children, daughter Loretta Geick, granddaughter, Elizabeth Morris, and grandson, Nathan Geick and his wife Rachel Geick; son Michael Rolfe and his wife Patricia and step granddaughters, Molly Crum, Elizabeth York, and Jessica Mason; and, great-grandchildren, Madison, Nicole, Brooke, Jocelyn, Jillian, Isabella and Mason.
The family will receive visitors on Sunday, March 3, from 4-6 pm at Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Center, 3001 S. College Avenue in Bryan. Funeral services will be held at First United Methodist Church of Bryan, Monday, March 4, beginning at 10 am, with Pastor Rick Sitton officiating. Interment will follow at Restever Memorial Park Cemetery in Bryan.
In memory of Evelyn, her family requests that all who knew and loved her follow her example as you stand up and step up to share your own love of family and love of the Lord throughout the rest of your lives.Print This Obituary