Roan: ‘Many opportunities to help others’

Published 5:09 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

“You don’t give up until you go up,” said Louisville, Ky. native Rose Lilian Roan.

Roan, 76, knows about not giving up. She enjoyed the privileges afforded to an only child; however, life was not necessarily a bed of roses.

She came from a family that believed in working hard and doing the right thing.

For the past 10 years, Rose Lilian Roan has volunteered with Sav-a-Life’s Stork’s Nest Clothes Closet program. (Contributed)

Roan was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease four years ago.

A back condition has required the use of an electric wheelchair, walker and cane in order to get around successfully. Despite this obstacle, she is devoted to making a difference in her corner of the world.

“I am a recipient of a lot. One of my neighbors takes in my mail, another who is a nurse always does whatever she can to assist me,” Roan said.

She blesses others through her gift of knitting. For the past 10 years, Roan has volunteered with Sav-a-Life’s Stork’s Nest Clothes Closet program.

Her skill produces beautiful boodies and blankets for newborn babies. Since 1985, Sav-a-Life has provided counseling, education and support services to pregnant women.

Roan is also the head of the local chapter of Delta Dawns Red Hat Society. Formed in 2004, the group of 714 women age 50 and over celebrate life through sisterhood.

“Hatters” (Roan owns 15 red hats) join in local chapters to have fun (on movies, trips, etc.), support one another and serve others to live a life of fulfillment.

Roan serves as RSVP Station Manager for the group and holds the position of Queen Mother.

A tradition birthed over half a century ago, along with her husband of 59 years, Bob, Roan holds Bible study in their home once a week, where participants assemble for fellowship and refreshments.

A familiar face at her church, Evangelical Presbyterian, she spreads cheer and provides assistance with decorations for events.

She also assists the meal program for non-members and congregants who are homebound.

An RSVP member since 2004, Roan has logged 4,000 hours and has put all of her energy into her work as a volunteer since leaving her real estate and teaching career.

“I guess I have been so blessed and there are so many opportunities to help others; you don’t have to go that far to find them,” Roan said.

When not helping out at her church or knitting for Sav-a-Life, she basks in the gleeful sounds of her eight grandchildren and her four great-grandchildren.

She enjoys reading, and despite mobility issues, spends time in her garden attending to her hydrangeas, gardenias and irises.