Celia Rose (Barber) Bissell peacefully passed on Sunday, Oct. 9th at Forest Manor in Covington, La. By her side were her daughter, Patty, one of her favorite nurses, and son, Jeff, on speaker phone. Rose was born April 2, 1934. Her parents were the late B. C. Barber and Audra (Garrett) Barber of Blytheville, Ark. Rose was the youngest of nine children having four brothers and four sisters. Her father was a cotton farmer and her mother a homemaker. Rose moved to Nashville, Ark., in 1951. She graduated from Nashville High School in 1954.
Rose met her late husband, James A. Bissell, in Nashville soon after he came home from the Korean war. At the time, Rose was a waitress at Joda’s restaurant. They got married on April 8th, 1955. They were married for 59 years, 7 months, and 13 days. James and Rose were parents of three wonderful children — Pamela Rose (Bissell) Marlar and late husband, Albert, of Sheridan, Ark., Patsy Ann (Bissell) Baker and husband, Winfred, of Picayune, Miss., and their “favorite son” Jeffrey Allen Bissell and husband, Jay, of Ormond Beach, Fla.
Rose’s grandchildren are Aaron Baker and wife, Laura, of Houston, Texas, Jason Baker and wife, Sarah, of Point Lay, Alaska, the late Christa Baker of Abita Springs, La., and Shiloh Marlar and wife, Dina, of White Hall, Ark. Rose had 20 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
Rose did a lot throughout her children’s early years to help make ends meet. The longest job she had was “being receptionist” on stormy nights for SWEPCO where James worked as a serviceman. Back in those days, people called the house when their power was out. She also worked at Piggly Wiggly checking groceries, sold Avon and World Book Encyclopedias, and substituted in school. Rose taught her children how to cook, clean, and run a household. She worked in the garden and canned vegetables. There were years of Christmases filled with too much food and lots of presents under the tree. She gave many memorable birthday parties for her children. Rose successfully coordinated beautiful weddings for her daughters and helped her son throw many New Year’s Eve and Halloween parties. She also spent countless hours documenting her children’s lives through photo albums, notes, and kept special trinkets, toys, and memorabilia tucked away for her children.
Rose was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church. She taught 3rd grade Sunday school and Jr. High class. Rose sang in the choir before losing her sight.
Rose became legally blind at 52. She attended the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Little Rock, Ark., for 3½ months. Thanks go to Mr. Joe Goodrum for encouraging her to go to school. Additional thanks go out to Mrs. Mary Floyd for encouraging Rose to join the hospital auxiliary. She volunteered there for 5½ years. Rose also served on the state board for the blind for two years and the local chapter for several years.
After losing her husband, Rose continued to live on the farm for a few years. In January 2016, the farm was sold and she moved to Picayune, Miss. This was a new world for Rose but she was happy to be close to family. She lived in a house next door to Patty and Winfred. They oversaw her care and wellbeing for over six years until she needed professional care. At that point she moved into Forest Manor, a skilled nursing facility in Covington, La. A special thanks goes to two wonderful nurses, Kim and Pebbles, at
Forest Manor and to the staff of St. Catherine’s Hospice for their care in the final months of her life.
Visitation will be at Latimer Funeral Home on Sunday, Oct. 16th from 3-5 p.m.
Funeral services will be on Monday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. at Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville followed by a graveside service at Restland Memorial Park.