Mrs. Cordelia Ross Summerville was born July 15, 1930, to Japhus and Jessie Ann Tucker Ross, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Despite the historically tough time the nation faced, particularly for the South, her parents instilled in her a solid foundation and a strong faith in God. With that, Cordelia graduated from Peake High School in 1951. She shared memories of picking cotton early in the morning, going to school, then coming home to pick more cotton in the evenings. She married Eddie Lee Summerville in 1960 and together they raised eight children.
Cordelia worked hard throughout her life. She was a well-respected employee of Henderson State University working in the girls’ dormitories – lovingly seeing after the college young women who considered her family. She later worked for McMillan, Turner & McCorkle Law Firm, First Presbyterian Church, and also did private domestic work as a means to support her family. She proudly maintained an immaculate house and passed that value down to her children. A devoted mother, her children were priority, and put first. She preferred staying home, spending time with family, watching westerns, cooking good meals, and even spent countless hours sewing clothes for her children. To this day, her children still speak of her turnip greens and succulent sweet potato pie!
Family was everything to Cordelia and she never met a stranger. She loved her twin sister, Cornelia, who lived next door to her since 1972. In addition to raising her own children, she lovingly raised eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, Wyatt, from three days old, one of her biggest loves in her life!
Mrs. Cordelia was loved and well-known throughout the Arkadelphia community she cherished so much. She could be always be seen walking to and from or sitting on her porch, drinking a Coca-Cola and always had a kind conversation with passers-by. During the 2021 pandemic, her 90th birthday was celebrated with a vehicular parade of family and friends, paying a tribute to Cordelia as a special Arkadelphia resident of almost a century! She was a member of the West End Presbyterian Church for most of her life until she was unable to attend. She passed from this life on Friday, October 1, 2021, with Malasena sweetly by her side at home.
“Lil Twin” was a true jewel and will be missed by many. She was preceded in passing by her parents; her siblings, Aurelia Ross-Griffin, Charlie Ross, Pauline Ross and Efferin Ross; and three children, Michael Summerville (August 29, 1969-August 6, 2015), Linda “Pokey” Hale (March 27, 1960-February 14, 2016), and Queen Ester Givens (June 13, 1961-May 19, 2016).
She leaves lasting memories with her children: Pauline Ross Lemons (Meredith)of Hot Springs, Kenneth Ross of Hot Springs, Malasena Summerville of Arkadelphia, Eddie Summerville (Teresa) of Arkadelphia, Michelle Summerville of Arkadelphia; her twin sister, Cornelia Ross of Arkadelphia, and brother, Herbert Ross (Elizabeth) of Arkadelphia. She also leaves nineteen grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren, as well as, a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Submitted by the Summerville Family
Public visitation will be Friday, October 8, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The family will received friends from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Services will be held graveside at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at Richmond Hill Cemetery with Rev. Llewellyn E. Terry, Sr., officiating.
** Please bring a chair for your comfort and convenience.
Pallbearers will be Christopher Summerville, Kiarron Summerville, Tyrone Summerville, Quentin Summerville, Tyson Ross and Glenn Hill. Honorable to mention are her great-grandsons.