Charles Murray Roper, a.k.a. “Father Charlie,” (age 92) has passed from this earthly realm to be with the Eternal Father on November 14, 2021.
He was born August 9, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to the late Clara Mae Bullock Roper and Robert Harold “Hal” Roper, their only child.
Music was a big part of Charlie’s life. He started piano at the age of 4 and enjoyed tickling the keys the remainder of his life. He played the pipe organ, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon, and was a drum major and a choral singer. As a child, he played drums for his father’s band at the Egyptian Ballroom above the Fox Theater.
He attended Mary Lynn Elementary, Bass Junior High School, and Georgia Military Academy, graduating Magna cum Laude. Charles studied music at Davidson College, where he was a Sigma Chi brother, and at Brevard Music Center, where he met his future wife, Elizabeth Ann Mason of Roanoke, VA. He said they fell in love instantly, and he asked her to marry him having known her for only a few days – upon which she said “yes.” They married at Christ Church in Roanoke on his birthday in 1953.
Charlie studied at Columbia Theological Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary.
Father Charlie committed his career to the ministry with the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, having served at St. John’s in West Point, Holy Trinity Parish in Decatur, Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Decatur, St. Thomas in Columbus, and as Canon to the Ordinary. He was also a member at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. Charlie was a devoted leader with multiple initiatives across numerous communities serving on boards ranging from the Emory/Atlanta Orchestra, the Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry, the Pastoral Center, to the Bradley Hospital. He helped bring WJSP-FM to Warm Springs/Columbus and held a special affinity for WDAV Classical Public Radio in Davidson, NC.
He is survived by his beloved and adored wife of 68 years, Elizabeth “Betty” Mason Roper, and their six children, Stephen Van, Ann Mason (Camp), Michael Charles, Susan Elizabeth “Libby”, David Lawrence, and John Christopher. Charlie enjoyed several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He held passions for jazz and classical music, art and architecture, and travels in the U.S., U.K. and France.
Charlie’s funeral service and celebration of life will be held December 11, 4 PM at the Cathedral of St. Philip with the burial in the Memorial Garden and a reception to follow.
Please consider a monetary donation to the St. Thomas Church, Columbus, GA “Bell Fund” 706-324-4264.