Evelyn Rolfe

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.


  1. Our love and prayers are with each of you in this time of your loss. With you we loved
    Evelyn with all our hearts and will miss her till we meet again in Heaven.

  2. As Evelyn stood to talk at family gatherings, everyone would shout, ‘EVELYN STAND UP’! And while the was small in stature, she ‘STOOD TALL’ in life. It was an honor to be her niece, and a privilege to know her. xxxoo

  3. I will miss my beautiful Mother in Law.
    She was really like a Mom to me and treated me with only respect as I treated her the same way. I enjoyed taking care of her! She was my world. Love you Mom.
    Your Patti

  4. Please accept my deepest sympathies. Just know that I am here for you, and will be checking in with you to see how you are doing. Please also don’t hesitate to reach out when there is anything that I can help you with. Great people such as your mother are an inspiration to everyone around them. Your mother will continue to be an inspiration for me, even though she has passed. She will live on in my memory and thoughts.

  5. My deepest condolences to you patty and mike and all the family iam sure she will b greatly missed. Love you both ..Rest in peace mrs rolfe

  6. Prayers of Peace and Unity are with Evelyn’s immediate and our extended family and friends in this time of loss. My life was richer knowing my great-aunt throughout my life. To a life well-lived! Till we meet again. In Christ’s Name. Amen.

  7. My prayer is for God to comfort all of the family members. She was a wonderful person. She will be missed. I believe God is welcoming Evelyn with “Well done, my good and faithful servant”

  8. Evelyn was a joy to be around. I could always count on her straight-forward common sense opinions and was impressed with her quiet confidence and peace of presence. Love you Evelyn. I know you are with the Lord.

  9. As Evelyn stood to talk at family gatherings, everyone would shout, ‘EVELYN STAND UP’! And while she was small in stature, she ‘STOOD TALL’ in life. It was an honor to be her niece, and a privilege to know her. xxxoo

  10. Dear Mike and Patti, our hearts are with you during your time of loss. It’s a time to reflect on all the special times you shared together with your mother. Cherish those memories and enjoy the rest of your lives as I’m certain she would want. Stay strong.

  11. My deepest condolences Patti and your husband Michael. I know how much you loved her. I pray God grants you comfort and peace in this difficult time.

  12. I Loved Evelyn “Granny”, with all of my heart and always will. My deepest sympathies to all of the family and friends that were privileged to be part of Her world. I apologize for this late response as I just found out about Evelyn’s call Home today… 10 August 19.

    Granny Darlin, as you look down from Heaven you know my sadness and how I feel. We were more than extended family and your love and guidance was always treasured for the 15 years I was privileged to be part of your wonderful family, and still is today. I should have done more to stay in touch with you these last four years since I’ve been away from home!

    Had I done that I would surely have gained in every way and I would have been back home to honor your beautiful memory, and celebrate your life with all of those that you have touched so deeply. You set an example that few can follow and were truly one of the finest Christian Ladies I have ever known!!

    Love to All,

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