Dorotha Eloise Roden

Monday, February 15, 2021

Dorotha Eloise Roden, 88, formerly of Blytheville, passed away peacefully at St. Bernards Hospital in Jonesboro on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. She was born in Wilson on Nov. 23, 1932, to Earl and Lois Bullard, who preceded her in death. Mrs. Roden was also preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, John W. Roden, Sr., daughter Rebecca Anne Caviness, sisters, Beverly Gentry, Barbara Deskin and brother David Bullard.

Mrs. Roden graduated from Blytheville High School in 1951 and started college at age 19. She received her Masters of Education from Ouachita Arkansas State University. Married at age 18, she became interested in teaching through her husband’s work as an educator, principal and science teacher at Burdette School. Mr. L.H. Autry, superintendent and Arkansas legislator, put her to work at age 19 where she began a 30 plus year career.

Her legacy other than her own children is the lives of the children she touched over the years of her career. She loved children and said one of the most rewarding parts of being a teacher was when students would return and recount how she had touched their lives.

She said the children always wanted to give her gifts. It was usually a colored paper with sweet messages or flowers and the such. However, one little boy brought her a mouse because he did not have anything else to give her. She graciously accepted it and said “that is love, real love”.

As a professional, she was active in many educational organizations and received numerous awards. She was the recipient of the Golden Apple Teacher’s Award in recognition for excellence in teaching. She was the primary chairman of the Burdette School, a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a life time member of PTA, ten years as chairman of the United Way and was instrumental in the Reading Adoption Commission that impacted on the cutting edge implementation of progressive reading programs in the state of Arkansas. Between her and Mr. Roden they gave 70 years of their lives to Arkansas public education.

Her greatest love was of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom she gave thanks and glory to for all of the blessings of her life. She was married in the First Baptist Church in Blytheville to the love of her life on June 30, 1951, and loved her church and church family.

She is survived by her sister, Nancy Horne (Fred) of Corpus Christi, Texas; daughter Donna Roden Brister (Steve) of Jonesboro; son, John W. Roden, Jr. (Connie) of Wichita, Kan.; grandchildren, Len Whitehead (Angel ) of Blytheville, Melody Brister Mooney of Jonesboro, Sean Brister (Stephanie) of Alma, Paul Brister (Dee) of Collierville, Tenn., Jennifer DeHoet (Demian) of Wichita, Kan., John Roden, III (Melanie) of Richmond, Ky., Brandy Cowan of Jonesboro, Eric Caviness (Chasity) of Crawfordsville, Ind., and Johnathan Cowan of Jonesboro; and 18 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Roden leaves behind a special family of angels on earth at the St. Bernards Assisted Living Facility in Jonesboro, who were there for her in every way during the difficulty of isolation of COVID 19.

Visitation will be held at Cobb Funeral Home on Monday at 1 p.m. with funeral immediately following at 2 p.m. The burial will be private. The family asked that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the First Baptist Church, 715 West Walnut Street, Blytheville, AR 72315 or St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Following the State of Arkansas COVID-19 guidelines, no more than 80 people will be allowed to gather inside of Cobb Funeral Home and practice social distancing, keeping a 6-foot distance between one another. Face masks are required to enter the building and to be worn at all times. Condolences may be expressed to the family at