Mary Etta Roaden

October 2, 1927April 21, 2021
Obituary of Mary Etta Roaden
Mary Etta Roaden, of Nashville, TN, passed away, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. Her positive outlook on life, loving nature, and quick smile will always be a cherished memory. She was born in Surgoinsville, TN, on October 2, 1927, to the late George and Luvada Mitchell. Mary Etta was a member of Woodmont Baptist Church for 35 years. She found great joy in participating and serving at Woodmont. She loved her Sunday School Class and Seniors Ministry Group. She had a gift for comforting and encouraging others and was quick to visit those in need or ill. She had a passion for international families in Nashville and in her early years led programs to support them as they transitioned to living in this country. For the last 45 years she was a member of P.E.O., an organization promoting educational opportunities for women. Mary Etta graduated from Carson Newman College, after which she taught elementary school. During college she met the love of her life, Arliss Roaden, and they were married for 65 years. She was his devoted wife and supporter throughout his career, as University President at Tennessee Tech University, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost at the Ohio State University. She organized and hosted innumerable events, seemingly effortlessly. She was down to earth and welcoming, with a smile and sense of humor. Everyone enjoyed meeting her and she soon became a friend. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren called her Nin-naw and were delighted as she quickly sat to play a game, pull out a craft, invite them to help her cook, or just talk and laugh. They were the center of attention and knew they were loved. She is survived by her loving daughter, Janice Skelton (John) of Columbus, OH, four grandchildren, Michelle Muse (Steven), David Skelton (Amanda), Mindy Scibilia (Marc), and Karen Bailey (Nick), and nine great-grandchildren – Andrew Hagen, Alexis and Emily Muse, Dylan and Reese Skelton, Naomi and Finn Scibilia, Will and Casey Bailey, sister-in-law Reba Moore (Herman), and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Mary Etta was preceded in death by her husband Arliss, daughter Sharon, an infant daughter, her sister Ruby Tunnell, and brothers Harding and Sampson Mitchell. Visitation will be from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 3rd, with a Celebration of Life Service to follow at 11:30. Both will be held at Woodmont Baptist Church, 2100 Woodmont Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37215. In consideration of Covid safety, masks are required, visitation will be outdoors behind the church (moved inside if inclement weather), seating in the service will be by family or friend groups and social distancing respected. You can also join us remotely via the following live stream link: which can be viewed from a computer, smart phone, tablet or smart TV. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Woodmont Baptist Church – Mission Programs, 2100 Woodmont Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37215 or The Arliss and Mary Etta Roaden Scholarship Fund, University Development, Tennessee Technological University, Campus Box 5047, 1000 N Dixie, Ave, Cookeville, TN, 38501-9921.

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