Julia Isabelle Stuart Rollins, 91, a retired registered nurse, died Monday, November 13, at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. She had been ill in recent months.
She was born July 19, 1926, in Philippi, a daughter of the late David C. Stuart and Arla D. Cox Stuart.
As a child growing up in Overfield in Barbour County, “Belle,” as she was known to her family, always wanted to become a nurse. Because she was an eager learner in the one-room school house there, she skipped through several grades and moved onto Philippi High School, where she graduated at age 16.
Against her father’s wishes, she left the family farm and headed to Clarksburg to attend nurse’s training, and she received her certification as a registered nurse from Union Protestant Hospital in 1945. She was prepared, as a volunteer in the U.S. Army Nurses Corps, to serve in World War II after graduation, but the program was declared inactive months before her graduation due to the ending of the war.
As a graduate nurse still living in Clarksburg, Julia met her husband, Ted Rollins, who had returned from the war and was working for the B & O Railroad there. They married in 1947 and were married for 67 years. Mr. Rollins died in 2015.
Mr. Rollins’ job with the B & O, later named Chessie System and CSX, took them to many railroad towns around the states of West Virginia and Maryland. As a result, Julia served on the staffs of several hospitals and doctors’ offices in West Virginia and Maryland. At one time she served as a Public Health Nurse in Taylor County. In every town to which they moved, Mrs. Rollins quickly became known as a caring and compassionate nurse and was often called on by neighbors to help out in family medical emergencies. Her career as a nurse was a source of pride that fulfilled her throughout her entire life.
Mr. and Mrs. Rollins became avid square dancers in 1974 and enjoyed that activity for 25 years, attending square dancing conventions across the country. In 1981, following Mr. Rollins’ retirement from CSX the couple moved to Bradenton, FL. In retirement, the Rollinses traveled extensively, enjoying trips to Europe (England, Scotland, France, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria), Hawaii, Israel, Alaska, Egypt, Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. In 2003, the Rollinses returned to West Virginia (Bridgeport) to be near family.
Mrs. Rollins is survived by Jeffrey (Phyllis Marton) of Katonah, NY, Jeff’s children Karin, Michael, and Jonathan Marton-Rollins, and Karin’s son Henry Richards; daughters Cheryl Cohen Hylton (C.D. “Tony” Hylton, III) of Bridgeport and Cheryl’s daughter Maris Cohen; Beverly Sheingorn VanDerhei (Jack) of Boyds, Maryland; and Kimberly Rollins Dittman of Stonewood. She also leaves behind her beloved cat, Calico. A son, Bradley, died in infancy.
Other survivors include brother, Lindsey Stewart, of California and sister, Naomi R. McVicker, of Warren, Ohio.
Julia was preceded in death by brothers and sisters Dottie M. Stout, Gail B. Stuart, Edith L. Dadisman, Wanda A. Dill, Henson C. Stuart, Georgia P. Campbell, Irene L. Smith, and June J. Rowe.
A Memorial service will be held at Maplewood in Bridgeport at 11:30 a.m., Monday, December 4, with interment at the WV National Cemetery. A reception will follow.
Condolences to the Rollins Family may be left at burnsidefuneralhome.com.