Our Lord called Darlene Roper, 64, home on February 6, 2019. She joyfully accepted having prepared her whole life for the moment she would meet her Creator. She lived as a ball of love and vibrant energy that filled us all. She served the Lord, her family and community with bountiful joy and she carried an appreciation for all things great and small. She was a life learner, spending time growing in her faith and obtaining a doctorate in Naturopathy. She ministered through music, marriage counseling and bible studies. Many experienced her selfless, nurturing, and joyful nature. It came in the form of cooking, encouragement, laughter, advice and a listening ear during hair cuts in her salon, or dropping everything to serve someone else’s needs. She seemed to have bountiful energy when it came to serving others. She truly lived every day with love, passion, patience and a virtuous nature.
Darlene was born in Detroit, MI on June 15, 1954 into a big, loving Lebanese family with 8 siblings, the youngest daughter and second youngest child of parents Philip Rhodes Thomas and Jemelia Mary Habib. Her family moved to northern Michigan while she was in high school. She met her husband, Mike, in 1973 (motorcycle ride…she was late) and married in 1976. Together they created a close family in Gaylord: daughter Jamie Mellein and Gabe Mellein with children Aurora and Noah, son Christopher and girlfriend Jennifer Weaver, and daughter Aubrey McCready and Aaron McCready. She also leaves siblings David, Dolores, Diane, Denise, Debbie, and Douglas as well as 34 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, sister Dorothy and brother Danny.
While her family was large, it was exponentially greater as she developed deep and meaningful relationships with everyone she met. All were welcomed into the Roper home as family, and always will be.
A Prayer service will be held at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord, MI on Friday, February 15, at 7:00 pm (gathering will start at 6:30). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary Cathedral on Saturday, February 16, at 10:00 am. The family will receive friends beginning at 9:00 am, followed by a celebration of life in the Parish Hall. Bring fun stories of Darlene with you!
Memorial Contributions in honor of Darlene are also welcomed to meaningful charities to her: New Life Pregnancy Center & St. Mary’s Catholic Church (https://www.stmarycathedral.org/online-giving)