Elfrieda Bernice Graves, age 92, of Oneida, TN passed away peacefully surrounded by family on March 7, 2020. Born on October 3, 1927 in Glenmary, TN, she was the daughter of the late Guy “Shorty” and Venna McCartt Smith.
Elfrieda was a longtime member of Helenwood Baptist Church where she loved to sing and give her testimony. She enjoyed crossword puzzles, gardening, music, and sending cards to loved ones. Most of all, she treasured spending as much time as possible with the ones she loved. She never met a stranger, was always smiling and laughing, and gave advice whether you wanted it or not. If you knew her for any amount of time, you became one of “her kids”. She was everyone’s Nanny and friend.
If asked what her secret to happiness was she would say: “I love everyone. If the Lord can love me for everything that I am, I can do the same to all that I meet.”
In addition to her parents, Elfrieda was preceded in death by her infant son Ronnie; infant brother Luther Paul; brother Conrad; sister Edith (Jean) Hambright; ex-husband Larry Graves, Sr.; mother-in-law Marjorie Nadine Graves; brother-in-law Bob Voiles; and sister-in-law Barb Smith.
She is survived by her children: Dorinda Graves and husband Robert of Bucyrus, OH; Lanny Bowman and wife Judith of Hampton, VA; John Bowman of Tyler, TX; Elizabeth (Beth) Furrer and husband Richard of Oneida, TN; daughter Alesa Woods and husband Mark of Columbus, OH; grandchildren Debbie Cooper and husband David of Marion, OH; Michael Bowman and wife Ragen of Hampton ,VA; Stephen Bowman and wife Erin of Knightdale, NC; Jonathan Bowman and wife Amanda of Hampton, VA; Joseph Bowman and wife Megan of Fort Wayne, IN; Hannah Nelson and husband Ryan of New Tazewell, TN; Nathaniel Furrer of New Tazewell, TN; Jamie Woods of Los Angeles, CA; Alexandra Six and husband Ryan of Columbus, OH; Dillan Bowman of Tyler, TX; great-grandchildren Corey, Seth, Josh, and Maci Cooper; Ethan, Charlotte, Ezra, and Amelia Bowman; Phebe, Isaac, and Jonathan Bowman; Joseph, Jakob, Judah, and Jiremiah Bowman; Felicity Nelson; and Kade Six; great-great grandson Jaxon Cooper; step-children Becky Iery and family of Bucyrus, OH; Tammy Donaldson and family of Bucyrus, OH; and Larry Graves, Jr. and family of Houston, TX; aunt Mandie Blevins of Elgin, TN; siblings Benita Lawson (Voiles) of Hebron, KY; Edward Smith and Wanda of Elgin, TN; Monroe (Bill) Smith and wife Ella of Elgin, TN; Robert Smith and Kathy of Elgin, TN; and brother-in-law Benjamin (Jack) Hambright of Helenwood, TN.
She is also survived by her close family by heart: Tom and Della Hildebrand, Todd, Nicole, Alexx, and Zacchary Moore of Bucyrus, OH, special friends Donna Naufzinger, Ellie Rockwell, and Josetta Griffith along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Friends may visit with Elfrieda’s family on Saturday, March 14, 2020 from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Jones & Son Funeral Home with a showing of a memorial video beginning at 2:30 p.m. A Celebration of Life service will begin at 3:00 p.m. with son Lanny Bowman officiating.
The graveside service will follow at the McCartt cemetery in Elgin, TN. Pallbearers will be her grandsons: David Cooper, Michael, Stephen, Jonathan and Joseph Bowman, and Nathaniel Furrer.
The family would like to thank Drs. John and Cathy Martin, Oneida Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Big South Fork Medical Center, Tennessee Plateau Oncology, Quality Home Health, Quality Private Duty, and especially Quality Hospice for their compassionate care of her during her lifetime. For everyone who called, sent cards, visited, and prayed for Elfrieda and her family: you are appreciated more than you will ever know.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Helenwood Baptist Church Mission Fund, 235 Main Street Helenwood, TN 37755.
Jones & Son Funeral Home is serving the family of Elfrieda Bernice Graves.