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Obituary: Martha Faye Murrah Rosser, Columbus

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Martha Faye (Murrah) Rosser of Columbus, Indiana, passed away April 16, 2013. During her life Martha was a telephone operator, school nurse aide, homemaker, devoted wife, loving mother, loving grandmother, and loyal friend to many. She was member of Fairfield Bay (Arkansas) United Methodist Church.

Martha was born May 14, 1929, in Jacksonville, Illinois, the second of five children to parents Cecil and Cora Myrl (Hartland) Murrah, both deceased. During her youth, her father nicknamed her “Spunky.” She grew up in Pike County, Illinois, and Ralls County, Missouri, where she graduated from Hannibal High School in 1947. She married James (Jim) Rosser May 19, 1950, in St. Joseph, Missouri. They had four children.

Martha and Jim lived 20 years in Lisle, Illinois, among family, neighbors and friends. Upon retirement, they relocated first to Hannibal, Missouri, then to Fairfield Bay, Arkansas, and spent many happy “retirement years” there among their friends. Later, Jim’s deteriorating health resulted in relocations, first to Mountain Home, Arkansas, then to Columbus, Indiana, in 2001. In Columbus, Martha accumulated many friends and particularly enjoyed living near three of her grandchildren as they grew up. She was an active listener, rooter, and mentor for each of “the Sullivan girls.”

She enjoyed her Columbus home and her cats for many years before declining health necessitated her becoming a resident at Silver Oaks Health Campus, also in Columbus. She thoroughly enjoyed the increased opportunities for social interactions that Silver Oaks afforded, making many new friends among the residents and quickly becoming a staff favorite. She read, kept up on current and local affairs, and assisted other residents as she could. She became a bingo champion. She kept close tabs on her remote grandchildren and was delighted by their phone calls, cards and letters, and visits.

Martha was preceded in death by her husband Jim; son, James Guy Rosser Jr.; sister, Marie; and brothers, John and Merle (Butch) Murrah.

She is survived by daughter Debbie and husband Bill Vest of Lee's Summit, Missouri; daughter Beth and husband Jerry Sullivan of Columbus, Indiana; daughter Karen and husband Bill Lee of Boynton Beach, Florida; daughter-in-law Kathy Rosser and life partner Susan Bright of Longmont, Colorado; grandchildren, Michael, Jennifer, Sarah, Jessica, Alison, Libby and Lauren; great-grandsons, James Odin and Jackson Le; a brother, Winfield Murrah of Metairie, Louisiana; and many friends.

Martha chose to be cremated and then inurned at her husband’s side at the Rosser family plot at Barkley Cemetery in New London, Missouri. Hathaway-Myers Chapel on Pearl Street is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, 2626 E. 17th Street, Columbus, IN 47201.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

A memorial service to commemorate Martha’s life will be held, to be announced later.

We are grateful to have had Martha in our lives. We already miss her love, her wisdom, her laugh and her beautiful blue eyes.

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