Rosa Linda Russell Talbert, 74, passed away peacefully August 29, 2017, at her home in Shelby, North Carolina.
Rosa Linda was born on Long Island, New York on May 1, 1943 to the late Dr. Bernard and Virginia Russell. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of fifty-two years, Mr. Steve Talbert; children, Daniel Talbert and wife Jessica of Shelby, Joy Hord and husband Brian of Shelby; grandchildren, Gage, Ella and Cole Hord, and Micah and Mark Talbert; siblings, Dr. Sam Russell of Huntsville, Alabama, Ed Russell of LaGrange, Georgia, and Adele Fitzgerald of Concord, North Carolina.
When her family settled in Stanly County, North Carolina as her father taught at Pfeiffer University - she met a local farm boy in the church in New London named Steve Talbert. They became sweethearts and soul mates. After graduating from both high school and Pfeiffer University as valedictorian with a degree in Christian Education, they married on May 22, 1965. They moved to Cleveland County where she began her career as a youth minister at Central United Methodist Church. She subsequently obtained her Masters in Christian Education from Pfeiffer as well. After serving 10 years as Christian Education Director, they started a family with the birth of their little red-headed boy and welcomed the "Joy" of their life four years later. After devoting herself to her children for a number of years she was called back into the ministry and served as Christian Education Director at Lafayette Street United Methodist Church in Shelby from 1983-1993. She was instrumental in the formation of Wilderness Trail, Inc., a youth Christian hiking organization. She then began teaching religion and bible for Cleveland Community College as a professor on campus as well as in local high schools under the Huskins Program from 1995-2007. A gifted writer, throughout her life she penned poems, stories and other writings that praised God and encouraged others.
Highly lauded, but never seeking praise, she won the Governor's Award for Excellence on two occasions for her contributions to the community. Above awards, whether it be from the Governor or from an individual student for the Star Teacher Award, she valued relationships with individual youth group members and students. She was known for her in-depth Bible knowledge, but more than this, she lived out the teachings of Jesus Christ every day, practicing limitless forgiveness, endless grace and unconditional love.
Regrettably, she succumbed to the intolerable Alzheimer's disease in her last years, but will always be remembered by those who knew and loved her. Her warm smile, whistling when she was happy, and always caring for others much more than herself will be missed.
Rosa Linda always excelled at whatever she pursued for the greater good. She simply made the world a better place.
A celebration of life will be held 2:00 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017 at Central United Methodist Church with Rev. Mark Barden officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the fellowship hall. Burial will follow in Sunset Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Central United Methodist Church, Shelby, N.C.
Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Mrs. Talbert.
Guest Registry is available at www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com
Published on August 30, 2017