Wata Berndina (Mercer) Rolph was born April 17, 1910 in Prosser, the third child to Myrtle (Rothrock) and Willis Mercer. She passed away Friday, Aug. 17, 2007, at the age of 97.

The pioneer Mercer family came from Illinois to Prosser in the late 1890s. After a short time at WSU, she came home and married Forrest Henry Rolph on Aug. 31, 1929. Two children were born to this union, Beryl and Leonard.

Wata dearly loved having family stop by and preparing food for them. She not only was a fine cook, but also an amazing piano player and her husband, Forrest, enjoyed whistling along as she made the piano sing. Gardening was another special hobby and the garden plot produced quantities of fruit and vegetables every summer, which she generously shared with others.

Except for her last few years at Sheffield Manor and Prosser Long Term Care, she lived on the same block of Main Street in Prosser for 90 years. Everyone who met Wata was touched by her sweet nature and kind heart.

She is survived by her son, Leonard, of Glenwood; five grandchildren; numerous great and great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Francis Barber of Prosser; many nieces and nephews; and a multitude of others who all loved her dearly.

Her gracious love and sweet smile will be missed always.

Wata was preceded in death by her daughter, Beryl; and husband, Forrest, who is still in trouble for buying six-month-old Leonard, a baseball mitt at the height of the Great Depression; her sister, Velma; and brothers, William (Bill) and Milton Mercer.

Graveside inurnment services will be held Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007, at 1 p.m. at the East Prosser Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at the Prosser United Methodist Church, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Prosser United Methodist Church. Prosser Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.


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