Sept. 9, 1941 – April 27, 2022
Susan Maxine Mullins brightened the world on Sept. 9, 1941. Born in Montgomery at Hubbard’s Hospital to Ada Olean Mullins nee Cone and Ezra Max Mullins, she and her the family moved back to Greenville in 1942, where she lived until her death at her home on April 27, 2022.
Maxine was a beautiful woman of great joy, who spread her love of others in so many ways. She was born into a family of musicians and vocalists and began to perform publically at an early age, singing on her grandfather’s (Reverend R. Z. Mullins) Sunday morning radio gospel program, Call to Worship, on WGYV.
Her angelic alto voice was a powerful witness as she sang with her church choir throughout her life. She performed often around the county and beyond in duets and trios with God-given, talented women. It was only as the infirmities she endured in old age, when her voice began to not meet her standards, did she begin to no longer sing in public, although to our ears, her song was still as beautiful as ever.
Maxine married William O. (Bill) Rogers in June, 1959. She picked him out while still in high school, although he didn’t know this until later on. The couple began to date and they married in Southside Baptist Church two weeks after she graduated from Greenville High School. They began their family, living first in Greenville, then moving to Airport Road, where they have lived since 1965. There they raised two children, Jeff and Joi.
Maxine made the house into a home and anyone who visited felt comfortable and welcomed. It was not uncommon for her and Bill to often have large and small gatherings of friends, church groups, and extended family members for parties and cookouts.
Maxine was an outstanding cook who never failed to excel in any dish she tried. Anything she attempted, she succeeded with aplomb. For example, long before there were Mexican or Chinese restaurants anywhere nearby, she was learning how to cook those ethnic dishes (among others) from scratch. Her everyday dishes were also works of southern art within themselves.
Christmastime was child’s wonderland, where she cooked candies, pastries, cookies, and cakes from before Thanksgiving until well past the New Years. She began to cook cakes as gifts for friends and neighbors during the Christmastide and by the late 70s, it was not uncommon for her to bake and frost 30 to 40 cakes of all varieties. Her favorite to bake was a coconut layer cake, made initially with real coconuts her family had to crack open and shred by hand.
Maxine was also an accomplished seamstress, who hand made many clothes for herself and her children. Jeff thought he was all that in the mid-1970s when she made a denim leisure suit for him and Joi wore large numbers of dresses through her early years, all lovingly made by her hand. We all felt, though, that Maxine’s favorite sewing pastime was quilting. She was a long-time member of the Searcy Homemaker’s Club and she, along with a large number of gentleladies from Searcy Community, met weekly for many years and lovingly created an incalculable number of quilts, giving many of those away. Her illness robbed her of that pleasure, though the frames, cloths scrapes, and other sewing paraphernalia still occupy storage areas of her home.
Maxine was a gregarious, friendly, and active person throughout her life. She loved to play games of all types and was especially fond of Spinners and Skip-Bo, though she excelled at any game she tried. She and Bill had great plans to spend their retirement traveling around and camping with friends far and wide and for a few years they were able to do so.
But that scourge that took her health away became too great and she was forced to spend her time in the house and unable to travel, for fear of inducing the severe facial pains that plagued her the last 15-20 years of her life. Ever optimistic, she and Bill visited many doctors and clinics, seeking a respite from the agony she was forced to endure. But it was not to be and after few years, they downgraded their motor home and eventually sold out, never to camp again. Also taken was the joy she had seeing her grandchildren (who called her Dixine) perform, graduate, and do all the other things grandparents love to watch and brag about to their friends. That was what she hated most about her illness.
The last few years of her life were spent at home, under the daily love and care of her husband, Bill. She told Jeff at one time, she would never have thought Bill would have taken such good care of her. She said she loved him so much, even with the rocky years, and that she knew he loved her dearly, too. But you know, we all did.
Maxine was preceded in death by her parents, Olean Cone Mullins and Ezra Max Mullins, and her grandparents, Maude Head Mullins and Rev. Ralph Z. Mullins and Ina Herron Cone and Cleve E. Cone.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, William O. (Bill) Rogers; daughter, Joi Jernigan and husband Fred; son, Jeffery W. Rogers and wife Laura; grandchildren, Joshua Cannon, Mary Susan Downey and husband Easton, Elisabeth Cannon, Katherine Rogers, and Jessica Rogers; great-grandchildren, Elijah and Wyatt Downey; sisters, Nan Mullins, Ellen Mullins Bopp and husband Chuck; brother, Bradley Mullins and wife Laura; and extended number of nieces and nephews.
She is also survived by her dear friend Jerre Turner and husband Harold, who have both meant so much to her during her entire lifetime.
The family would like to acknowledge the love expressed so often, in so many ways, large and small, by Janelle and Bob Newton. Without their daily willingness to help, Bill could not have been the nurse he was to Maxine. We also thank Wayne Henderson for his favors, large and small. Also, Brad Mullins, who was a constant in Maxine and Bill’s life during her illness and helped all hours of the day and night. Finally, we tearfully thank Gloris Crenshaw and Jerlene Murray. Without their God-sent love, Bill could never have cared for Maxine so diligently.
We also appreciate the kindness shown by the staff of Southern Hospice Care.
Services were at Dunklin and Daniels Funeral Home in Greenville on Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. The family received family and friends at 1 p.m. The Reverends Andrew McClellan and John Girdley provided the eulogy and Ms. Pratha Harrison sang One Day at a Time.
Pall Bearers were Paul Mullins, Gabriel Bopp, Michael Thrower, Todd Henderson, Timothy Hattaway, Jason Rogers, and Mark Newton, nephews of Maxine.