Cover photo for Beryl  Rosser Walp's Obituary
Beryl  Rosser Walp Profile Photo
1939 Beryl 2023

Beryl Rosser Walp

January 3, 1939 — March 27, 2023

On January 30, 1939, a beautiful little girl named Beryl came into this world, to the utter delight of her parents, Beryl Massey Rosser and Gordon Hearst Rosser. She lived a life full of overcoming adversity, loving others, and being loved by them until her death on March 27, 2023, at Croasdaile Village in Durham, NC, surrounded by her daughters' and her teeny dog Lulu.

Comfortable in a Debutante gown but generally choosing to wear jeans, beautiful Beryl grew up in Durham, NC, and attended Duke University, where she followed in the student footsteps of her brother, father, aunt, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Little did she know that her daughter and two granddaughters would follow her path as curious and somewhat scholarly Duke students. For her entire life, she followed Duke basketball and was both an enthusiastic fan and critic.

Beryl married a dashing young Naval Intelligence Officer named John (Jack) David Walp in 1961. At the time, the two lived on a song and a prayer in Virginia Beach, and the stories they told included painting Beryl’s toenails bright red and wading in the ocean to attract crabs for dinner. She drove a light blue Comet with a white convertible roof, and her smile would light up rooms from afar. Jack and Beryl’s oldest daughter, Allison, was born in Virginia Beach, and soon after, Jack retired from the Navy. They moved first to Ohio and then to Scituate, MA, where they were joined by Mollie and Davis, two more cuties to round out the family.

Beryl was a woman of great intelligence and humor. Life wasn’t always easy, but she was somehow able to create beauty absolutely everywhere. Through it all, she always loved to laugh, sometimes wickedly. She took great joy in her garden and shared hundreds, thousands, of zucchini and tomatoes with anyone who slowed down long enough for her to pawn them off. When one of the family dogs had 21 puppies (during a blizzard), she discerningly found homes for all of them and then hosted annual birthday parties. The family lived in a house built in 1743 in Scituate. She spent one long winter painstakingly removing layers of paint (with toothpicks) from a carved fireplace mantel brought into Boston Harbor on the first trade boat from China. As always, what she created was beautiful. Jack was an avid sailor and taught his children to sail as easily as they walked. Beryl cooked her amazing signature meals and picnics for all the sailing excursions into Massachusetts Bay and came along for moral support. Her pecan pie was so legendary, in fact, that Jack’s business colleague once flew from Chicago and Boston for this delicacy.

Beautiful Beryl was a woman of great faith. She was forever strong, feisty, obstinate, and a warrior for her truth. She loved to laugh, was delighted by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and had an innate and easily sharable wisdom that drew others to her for conversation and sometimes peace and silence. While not overly social, she was rich in close friends and constantly mentored younger women in loving and not threatening ways. She lived her faith quietly, intentionally, and completely. She played the piano beautifully, attended every concert she could, and was a lifelong writer and notetaker. She was forever surrounded by a happy pack of dogs (and occasionally a few cats), a family trait that continues. For the past 13 years, she gathered almost every Wednesday night with her family for ‘pizza night’ – over time, this meal rarely included pizza but became cherished evenings for all to connect and be together.

Jack preceded Beryl in death by thirteen years. Though she was lonely, she never complained. We are confident that she will celebrate Easter with her beloved Lord, and so many gone before who loved her well. She will be greatly exceptionally and forever missed.

Gone ahead are Beryl’s parents, Gordon Hearst Rosser, Sr. and Beryl Massey Rosser of Durham, her brother Gordon Hearst Rosser, III, and sister-in-law Ruth Nelson Rosser of Richmond, VA, and her husband, John David Walp of Pittsboro, NC. She is survived by her three children: Allison Walp Dimsdale (Todd), Mollie Walp Ackner (Reade), Davis Rosser Walp (Adrienne), and her daughter-in-love, Mora Melican. Her grandchildren include Carolina (Callie) Rosser Dimsdale Tennyson (Christopher), Hannah Walp Dimsdale Johnson (Ryan), Owen Emmanuel Ackner and Aaron Zhou Ackner, Kara Ashlyn Walp, Brenna Beryl Walp, and Peter Davis Walp, and great-grandchildren Gideon Massey Johnson and Malachi Dimsdale Johnson. Her brother’s beloved children are Meredith Rosser DeFelice and Gordon Hearst Rosser, Jr.

A raucous celebration of Beryl’s life is being planned for the summer, and Beryl’s ashes will be interred d in both the family cemetery at Maplewood and the ocean she loved so much. We are confident that we will soon see her in a better place.

The family’s heartfelt thanks go to those who cared for Beryl so well. These saints include Dr. Michael Meredith, Dr. Michael Blazing, Allen Stephens, PA, Dr. Al Sun, Amber Stohl, NP, Anna Schaeffer, NP of Duke Health, the amazing and steadfast caregivers at Acorn Healthcare, the staff and her neighbors at Croasdaile Village, and her caregivers at Duke Hospice. We are forever grateful.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Beryl Rosser Walp, please visit our flower store.


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