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Current Issue
Sept. 11
, 2011

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Clubs and Such

BNI (Business Network International) - Cedar Creek Professionals - meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Comfort Suites, located at U.S. Hwy. 175 and TX 198 in Mabank. Larry Williams (903) 887-2847 or

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.

Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.

Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each Wednesday morning at the KC Senior Citizen Center, 405 W. Walnut in Mabank. (903) 887-6549 or (903) 887-1514.

Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.

Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.

Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. (903) 432-3552.

Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce.

Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.

Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. (903) 887-4796.

Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.

Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.

Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Contact Kathey Brown email or (800) 422-2260 or visit

GriefShare Recovery support group meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. (903) 887-0293.

Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. (903) 451-4221.

Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.

Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.

Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.

Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email bhanstrom@embarq for more information.

Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. (903) 887-2781.

Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. (903) 887-5252.

Mabank Garden Club meets at 1:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).

Mabank TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Mabank First Baptist Church. (903) 887-7700 or (903) 451-0126.

Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.

Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. Donna Dean at ddean45@

Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. (903) 887-6201.

RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.

Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. (903) 498-2140.

Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.

Trinity Valley Community College Band meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the TVCC band hall. Group is open to any community member who plays an instrument. (903) 675-6222.

Trinity Valley Singles Support Group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Athens First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lovers Lane. This is a support group for singles of all ages. Jean Love at (903) 451-4697 or Donna Stinson (903) 675-7270.


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Lake Life

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Courageous living is an art
Local woman expresses God’s love through paper tole
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE-Last Friday, a very touching, impromptu, rededication ceremony took place at St. Peter Lutheran Church.
Longtime Cedar Creek Lake resident Shirley Roper wanted to show her youngest daughter where one of her intricate art works was located. 
So she stopped by the church in Gun Barrel City and presented a framed plaque expressing her feelings during the creation of a paper tole crucifixion scene that hangs on a wall in the church.
Pastor Scott Schaller thanked her again for her gift and spoke a simple prayer. Church secretary Mary Foster said the meaning-filled visit brought her to tears.
“We had a caring conversation,” Schaller said to describe the meeting. “The picture has become a real treasure and expression of faith. It’s a blessing to the members and those who come to visit and worship here,” he said.
“When I was there at the church, I had such a sense of peace knowing that a piece of my mother will live on and express her love and faith,” daughter Connie Kerr of Fort Worth said. “I was surprised she felt like getting out. It’s God helping us show the world who she is.”
Roper is putting her affairs in order and insuring that her five adult children are left with a legacy of optimism. Just last week, doctors told her she has three months to live, while a tumor grows in her abdomen. Roper has decided to refuse treatment for the cancer.
“I hope my art will touch hearts, (of those) who don’t know the Lord and will cause them to turn around,” she told The Monitor.
Roper, 81, is an amateur artist and sharp as a tack; she learned paper tole, a three-dimensional decoupage using exacting cuts and layering to create a lifelike scene, about seven years ago.
It took her three months of daily work (five to six hours) to complete the crucifixion scene three years ago, she said.
She thought of this completed project every time she drove by the church and read its sign: “We believe in Christ crucified,” she said
“Bob and I had hung it in the living room, but every time we looked at it, it would tear us apart,” she said of their realization that Jesus suffered for them and were they living lives worthy of such a sacrifice. “I determined that it should hang in a church,” she said. So she gave it to St. Peter Lutheran Church.
Shortly afterwards, her husband was to undergo a triple heart bypass. Schaller visited with the couple in the hospital and developed a caring relationship with them. “He was so sweet and so kind. I was deeply impressed by him,” Roper said.
Schaller learned that Bob was the youngest child of his father, who was 80 when Bob was born. Bob’s father had been a lawman on the Oklahoma frontier, among other things, had married a native woman, and had reared three families over his lifetime. “His story is probably one of the most memorable ones I have heard,” Schaller said.
A few years ago, Roper’s husband became incapacitated after suffering a stroke. She has been his caretaker shortly after the couple sold their farm and moved to Peach Tree Road near Gun Barrel City.
Over the past seven years, Roper estimates she has completed 25 to 30 paper tole portraits of animals and wildlife scenery, and has given most of them away over the years.
“I just love to see the look on people’s faces when I present one of these,” she said. “It’s been so inspiring to see how people react,” she said.
Once she did one of a freightliner for a truck driver friend. “He was just floored by detail in it,” she said. After that, she started getting requests, one after another.
The Tyler doctor that did a knee replacement for her also raised thoroughbred horses. She had recently completed a scene with a bay horse standing on a cliff overlooking a meadow.
“I thought, you know what, I’m going to give this to Dr. Godfry,” she told her husband. On the next follow up appointment after the surgery, she brought the large, framed art work into the hospital with everyone having to have an explanation for her having it before she could arrive at her destination.
“When I got there, the office clerk told me that today was his birthday. I was so excited to give it to him. He absolutely had a fit. He told me later that he had hung it over his fireplace in his living room and looked at it every day with wonder.”
Daughter Connie said, “She just keeps going and giving. If you can’t see the presence of God in her and her art work, you’re just not seeing her.”
Roper and husband Bob came to the lake area from Arlington where he worked as an aircraft welder; and she worked for Skaggs, a grocery store which was bought by Albertson after Roper retired.
The couple bought 21 acres of property off U.S. Highway 175 on CR 2921 between Gun Barrel City and Eustace called Berry Lake Farm.
There they grew watermelon, peas, thornless blackberries, nearly 200 peach trees and a large garden. The property also had two tanks stocked with fish and where they watered cattle.
“We had a life that was so rewarding,” she said.
Kerr remembers one time, when the couple had a bumper crop of peas and no way to get them in.
“My mother called the Payne Springs Fire Department and told them they could have whatever they picked to use in their fundraising efforts. They brought over a truckload of people to pick peas,” she said.
In the first few years of their relocation, husband Bob continued to commute to Arlington. After seeing him off early in the morning, Roper got hooked on watching an early-morning painting class on television.
She thought, “I can do that.” So, she did. She started with acrylics and then oils. “It became an obsession for me,” she said. “It gave me a mental release, so the Lord and I would paint together every morning.”
“She would paint a picture on just about anything from an ostrich egg, pottery and even on an old saw blade,” Kerr said.
After a few years, a friend told Roper about a woman in Denton who did paper tole, an art form new to Texas, so she looked into it and took a class.
Her first piece was a beautiful grouping of pansies, which included all the basic techniques and used most of the tools available to paper tole artists. It still hangs in a deep silver frame in her hallway.
Besides the crucifixion scene, Roper created a set of praying hands for each one of her children to encourage them to pray, more.
Roper worships with the Payne Springs Baptist Church now. And this past June, her congregation helped give her a wonderful birthday party.
Pastor Danny Dennie described Roper as a caring and compassionate person. “It’s just so obvious that she loves her husband and her children and is devoted to the Lord and living in the center of his will,” he said.
“I’ve done what I’ve done (art works) with the love and energy God gave me and not for any notoriety, you understand,” were her parting words to The Monitor. “But if just one person would come to know God’s love through anything I’ve done or said, then it will have all been worth it,” she said.























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