Rose Marie Litteral, 881⁄2, passed away in St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville early Monday, Jan. 20, as a result of a lengthy and difficult illness. Her daughter and son-in-law were at her bedside. Father John Raphael of the Alive Hospice unit administered last rites.
The third-eldest child of the late Dennis and Olivene Perdue was born near Saco, Maine. She grew up with her siblings on her parents’ farm near Ashland and attended local schools and church. As a young girl, she helped the local doctor on his rounds in the farm area.
During World War II, Marie worked in the USO, serving hot coffee and doughnuts to service men and women deployed from the area for the European Theater.
Her family often donated a fallow field for churches to have revivals. It was during one such event that she met her future husband, Charles Litteral, a member of the Salvation Army. Several years later, she and Charlie became engaged and corresponded during the war years. Upon his return, they were married in Gallipolis.
The couple made their first home in Ashland, where Marie gave birth to their two sons. In 1953, the couple heard the call of the West and moved with their two children to California, where Charlie took employment with Kaiser Steel Corp. at the Eagle Mountain Mine established in 1943 to aid in the supply of iron ore for the manufacturing of World War II vessels and armory. Three years later, Marie gave birth to their third child, a daughter.
With children grown and on their own, the couple retired in 1980 from Kaiser Steel, deciding to spend their retirement years in Joplin, Mo. This was short-lived with Charlie’s death. As a strong and independent woman, she continued to make her life there, enjoying her hobbies and maintaining her own home and garden. She was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Webb City, Mo., where she served on the Altar Society, ministering to the newly bereaved, visiting the sick and homebound and often substituting as church secretary. She was the winner of several chili cook-offs and an amateur poetess.
After the May 25, 2011, tornado that devastated the Joplin area, she moved to Nashville to be near her daughter and son-in-law. It was here that doctors discovered the illness that put an end to her treasured independent life.
Mrs. Litteral is survived by her daughter, Phyllis Elizabeth Litteral-Shipley and husband James of Cane Ridge, Tenn.; her son, Daniel L. Litteral and wife Debbie of San Jose, Calif., and her son Larry E. Litteral and wife Andrea of Ashland; two younger sisters, Barbara Lapp and Ann Collins and their spouses; four younger brothers, Louis Perdue, Paul Perdue, Charles Perdue and James Perdue and their spouses; four grandchildren; and 18 nieces and nephews.
By those who knew her well, she will forever be loved and never forgotten.