Local living legend shares her success of becoming a doctor

Stacey Spivey
News
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 6:04pm

Becoming a doctor has always been in the blood of 92-year-old Marjorie Ferrell Roper. She reflects on her childhood and playing doctor with her dolls and animals. The Bullard native says it was her time around her parent's downtown drug store, and the influence of Dr. Claude B. Rather that made her determined to live out her dream. "When I was about twelve Dr. Rather had a stroke, and he couldn't use one of his hands and he let me tie them and cut them and I just thought that was a big deal," said Roper.

However, the road to become a doctor wasn't easy. She said, "Dr. Rather was the only one that encouraged me. My mother and dad didn't want me to do it." Roper graduated from Bullard High School at age 15, before moving on to TJC, she then attended the University of Texas for only one year before getting into medical school. She was one of three women at UT Medical Branch at Galveston. After residency, a marriage, and her first child, she moved back to her home to become one of the first female doctors in the area. "When I first got back they didn't accept me, they just looked on me as being too young," said Roper.

Now, Dr. Roper is seen as an icon. Her son Don Roper said, "she was just a fixture in this community and surrounding area, and she's well respected and loved by everyone, and still is." Mr. Roper has written a book about the life of his mother so that her inspiring story can be shared with everyone. Doctor Marjie depicts the ups and downs of Roper's life.

You can now find Roper at the Bullard History Museum on Friday afternoons. In the twenties, it was a drug store where the community of Bullard would come to for everything. After retiring in 2006, Roper transformed the drug store into the museum. When she's not at the museum, she's playing the piano, or hanging out a local church.

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