Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church, Roswell, for Roetta Overstreet who passed away Nov. 16, in Yorba Linda, Calif. Dr. Onsy Whicker, Pastor Emeritus of Tabernacle Baptist Church, will officiate with private graveside services to follow at South Park. Visitation will be Friday, Nov. 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home.
Born Oct. 16, 1912, to Alfred Grogan and Nettie White Grogan, in Steele, Miss., she was 101 years old.
Roetta married Milo Overstreet on July 5, 1930. They had four children, all of whom survive her: Lois Taylor, of Roswell, Jeanne O. Keller, of Yorba Linda, Calif., Tom Overstreet and his wife, Deanna, of Alamogordo, and Milo Overstreet and his wife, Yvette, of Elephant Butte. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Roetta was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers: Eugene and Lafayette; four sisters: Gertrude, Estelle Griffin, Mary Griffin and Lea Shelton.
Roetta had wanted to be a teacher, but was unable to achieve that goal. One of her big disappointments was when her father refused to allow her to take advantage of her uncle’s offer to have her come stay with him and go to school. She determined that her children would get an education. Skipping school or making bad grades was simply not allowed. Three of her four children and six of her seven grandchildren have masters degrees. Her grandchildren are all in school and have advanced degrees as their goals.
Roetta arrived in Roswell in 1955. She worked at a variety of sales jobs. She realized early on that there was money to be made in buying and selling property, and she had a knack for choosing what was profitable. She got her real estate license in 1969. She, along with her broker-son Milo, owned and operated Overstreet Real Estate.
Over the years, she owned many houses, and apartments. She referred to them as “her investments.” She would purchase them, Milo would rehab them and she would sell them at a profit. She always said she would not have been nearly as successful if she had not had Milo’s help. He was a worker and could transform properties into desirable assets. At various times, she owned and operated five motels in the area. She had found her niche. It gave her great sense of satisfaction to be able to help a family get into their own home.
In 1998, she developed and secured approval for Overstreet Subdivision. She built the first house in the subdivision and helped a family secure financing to move into their brand new home. She quickly sold the other lots.
Roetta made the Million Dollar Club in 2000. The honorary membership is granted to realtors who sell a million dollars worth of property in a given year.
Roetta was profiled in the Roswell Daily Record in 2001, with the headline “Overstreet stands firm in her faith in the Lord.” Roetta recalled how she had been saved at an early age and served the Lord all her life. She and her sister Estelle were in the field picking cotton, they knelt down by their cotton sacks and Roetta asked Jesus to come into her heart. Her testimony, which she shared with all she came in contact with, was always “I know the Lord is real because He lives in my heart.” She passed along this Christian heritage to her children and rejoiced as each one came to know the Lord. Her prayers had been answered. Her two most important goals had been achieved: salvation and education for her children and grandchildren.
Roetta became a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in 1955. She taught in its Sunday School for many years, and was a faithful member and supporter of her various pastors. Dr. Onsy Whicker was her pastor for many years, and she loved him and his wife, Betty. Even after she moved to California, they still talked on the phone and prayed daily for one another.
Roetta lived in a house her daughter bought for her next door to where she and her husband lived. She told everyone that “Lois was very good to me, and her husband, Virgil was a real jewel. All of my family has been very good to me. We are a working family and all of them worked to help me.”
At the age of 89, she decided it was time to retire from real estate. She bought a six-unit apartment complex, converted it to one four-room unit, which she occupied, and three units which she rented out. She advised her family that this was her “retirement home.” She told her son, Tom, a lawyer, that this would probably be her last purchase, so he would lose her as a “client.” Tom had always been available to help her with her contracts, both purchase and sale. She always looked forward to the times he and Deanna would come over the mountain, take her to lunch, and then for a “little ride.”
She soon became bored with so much free time. She joined Senior Circle and taught herself to play bridge. She spent many afternoons with her newfound friends, playing bridge and keeping busy.
In 2008, her daughter, Lois, suffered health problems that left her unable to care for her any longer. Her daughter Jeanne came from California and told her, “Mom, you are going home with me, so pack up.”
It was hard for Roetta to leave her home, but we assured her this was only until Lois could again take care of her.
Jeanne provided such loving care for her that she lost her desire to return to Roswell to live, informing her family that she enjoyed the weather there and the guest suite Jeanne had prepared for her in her home in Yorba Linda. She hung all her family pictures in her room, and had a new home.
When Roetta reached the age of 75, her children decided they would always get together for her birthday. Every year, all her children and their families would gather together and celebrate her birthday. She was naturally concerned about this if she moved to California, but she did not need to worry, her working family came through again and Jeanne brought her back to Roswell for her birthday for as long as she was able to travel. All of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren traveled to California for her 100th birthday. Tom and Milo went to California several times to visit and play checkers. Roetta was the champion checker player in her family and regularly beat everyone she played with. Tom and Milo found this had not changed, she could still hold her own.
One of Roetta’s favorite things to do was to get a large Dr. Pepper, put a Christian music tape in the car and go for a “little ride.”
Milo came every Saturday and took her for a “little ride,” which usually lasted a couple of hours or more. She eagerly looked forward to the rides and to visiting with Milo.
As soon as Milo brought her home, she started looking for Yvette and Laura who came by every Saturday and took her to lunch and, oftentimes, another “little ride.”
When she went to California she could no longer take herself for a “little ride,” but she would tell the caregivers that she was ready for her ‘little ride.’ Last Friday, she took her last “little ride” and went home to be with her Lord.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories with the family in the online register at andersonbethany.com.
Services are under the direction of Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.