Rosa Belle Higgs Long of Heber Springs, Arkansas,passed away Thursday, May 30, 2019, at Southridge Nursing Center, where she had been a resident for the last few years.

Rosa was born August 8, 1927, in Heber Springs, AR, to Thomas Higgs and Lillie Maude Martin Higgs. She had three siblings – Frank Higgs, Mable Higgs Bradley, and Elsie Higgs Clayton. She attended schools in the Wilburn area and graduated in 1944. She was a true country girl, and later in life she loved to tell stories about her childhood in rural Arkansas, picking cotton, doing farm chores, riding a horse-pulled wagon into the big town of Heber Springs on a Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t an easy life for a young woman, but she was surrounded by love, and always recalled those days with pride and happiness.

On March 15, 1948, Rosa married the love of her life, Deward Fredrick Long, who was also from the rural Wilburn area. Early in their marriage they made an adventurous move to California, looking for better jobs and trying to see a little more of the world. Both of their sons were born in California. In the mid 1960s they returned to Arkansas, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Rosa and Deward were dedicated and loving parents, and they never missed a single one of their sons’ baseball, basketball, or football games. And there were a lot of them. Sadly, Deward was taken from us far too early, in 1985 at the age of 57. Rosa never remarried.

Rosa was a member of the Friendship Community Church near Wilburn, where she developed a personal relationship with her Savior Jesus Christ. She loved her church family, and much of her world revolved around church functions, revivals, potluck dinners, and Sunday services. Throughout her life, there was always this constant fact - Rosa remained fiercely dedicated to her Savior, her church, her family, and her Razorbacks.

Rosa was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, her beloved husband Deward, and their first-born son Ronald (who died in infancy). She is survived by her son Rick Long and his wife Julie Long and daughter Madison Long; and son Randy Long and his wife Lori Long and son Travis Long and his wife Jamie Long. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews and countless friends. Rosa was a proud and loving Grandmother to Travis and Madison, and spent many happy hours refereeing their wrestling matches on her living room floor when they were youngsters.

Services will be performed by Olmstead Funeral Home and will be graveside only at Magness Cemetery on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM. Rosa will be greatly missed, but her family and friends can take great comfort in knowing that she is now united with her Savior, and reunited with her beloved husband Deward.

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