Elvin Earl Rousseau, known as “Papa” to his family, was welcomed into the arms of Jesus on January 29, 2022 after a life well-lived.
Elvin was born to Dennis and Thelma Rousseau on June 23, 1941 in Rusk County, Texas. He graduated from Henderson High School in 1959, then went on to attend Kilgore College and Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University). Elvin earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1964 and began his career with the Texas Department of Transportation.
That same year, he married Judith Gladson, beginning a marriage that would span 57 years. Elvin and Judy began their life together in Austin, later transferring to Mount Pleasant, Marshall, and Atlanta as his 37-year career advanced. Along the way, they welcomed Duane, Laurinda, Susan, and Mendy into their family. During this journey, Elvin served the Lord faithfully at his local church, most recently serving as a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Tanglewood Missionary Baptist Church.
After retirement from the Highway Department, he enjoyed teaching part-time through Texas A&M University and traveling with his family; camping, fishing, and visiting historical sites around the country.
Elvin spent the later part of his life serving as a volunteer carpenter for Texas Mission Builders, building cabinets and assisting with construction for churches. He found great joy in “making sawdust,” as he called it, and thoroughly enjoyed using his talents to serve the Lord alongside so many gifted men.
Elvin’s legacy is best understood in the love he had for the Lord and his family. He was a man of few words, but his words carried weight and wisdom. He was intentional in his actions, faithful in his convictions, and an anchor for his friends and family.
To tease a smile from Papa was a great accomplishment, and his laugh was always contagious. He didn’t easily display emotions, but his depth of feeling was never questioned. He showed his love for his family every day in always providing for their needs, both physically and spiritually. He faced every challenge in his life without complaining, trusting the Lord to provide the strength he would need for every task.
He was a devoted caretaker for his wife, Judy, an incredible Daddy to his four kids, and an amazing Papa to his eight grandchildren. He was always ready to rake piles of leaves for them to jump into, take them fishing, talk about sports or activities with them, and readily share his precious stash of Blue Bell treats. He had an endless supply of “Papa mints” in his pockets and took joy in finding the perfect funny birthday card for each of them every year. He was often seen in his overalls with a book or crossword puzzle in his hand. His most recent accomplishment was learning to navigate the internet with the help of his grandchildren (and play Solitaire without actual cards).
We grieve his passing, but we are celebrating the fact that Papa is finally healthy and whole in the presence of his Savior.
Elvin was preceded in death by his parents, Dennis and Thelma Rousseau, and his son, Duane Rousseau. He is survived by his wife, Judith Rousseau, daughter, Laurinda Burks and husband, Stephen of Plano, TX; daughter, Susan Fitzgerald and husband, Jimmy of Henderson, TX; daughter, Melinda (Mendy) Waid and husband, Bryan, of Fort Worth, TX; daughter-in-law, Patricia Rousseau Jaques and husband Jeremy of Rogers, AR; grandchildren Shelby, Christopher, and Matthew Burks; Macey, Hope, and Luke Waid; and Sydney and Nora Rousseau. Elvin also leaves behind one sister, Lavelle Matlock of Mt. Enterprise, TX, and many nieces, nephews, and brothers and sisters-in-law.
Services are as follows: Visitation-Friday, February 4, 2022 from 6-8 p.m. at Hanner Funeral Services in Atlanta, TX; Funeral-Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Tanglewood MBC in Atlanta, TX; Graveside Services- Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Welch Cemetery in Rusk County, TX
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Texas Mission Builders, Tanglewood Missionary Baptist Church, and Welch Cemetery.