Mary Evelyn Brantley Washam was born on August 18, 1922, to Era Malone Brantley and L. Marvin Brantley and left this life to be with her Lord on July 12, 2020. She is survived by her daughter Jean Washam Hollis and her husband, Steve, of Ruston; one brother, H. Ronald (Ronnie) Brantley of Columbia, Louisiana; three granddaughters, Dr. Maridith Hollis, and husband, Adam Bell, of Mobile, Alabama; Lily Claire Washam-Wedding and her husband, Jason, of Haslet, Texas; and Kerry D. Harrell and her husband, Kevin, of Highland Village, Texas; two great grandchildren, Leah Evelyn Wedding and Hudson Reed Harrell; her sister-in-law Bobbie Jo B. Brantley of Farmerville; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends, including her very special friend, Mattie Gray Albritton Bird. She is pre-deceased by her parents; her husband, Arthur C. Washam; her daughter, R. Maxine Washam; her sister, Maxine Brantley Davis and husband Dan; her brothers O. G. (Boone) Brantley and wife, Sybil; and Kenneth L.(Pete) Brantley; her sister-in-law, Linda Brantley; loving nephew and niece, Jimmy Davis and Sonya Brantley; and very special friends, Blake H. Albritton and June Albritton Petterson.
Evelyn was a devout Christian and dedicated her life to being the proper example for her spouse, children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends. She was known for her thoughtfulness. When anyone was in need during a time of crisis or when a celebration was in order, she was “there” with calls, visits, food, and cards, especially cards. As long as her mind allowed, she sent many a card to people far and wide for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, get-well wishes, and sympathy. She touched the lives of so many and made people feel as though they were very important and special, and to her,
they truly were. Her grandchildren were the absolute light of her life. She called them her dollhearts. Grammy was never too tired or busy to be at school functions, piano recitals, choral recitals, dance recitals, induc tions into honorary societies, pageants, and all graduations from high school through master’s degrees, both near and far. She claimed that no one had grandchildren as wonderful as hers, and she and they stayed in close touch up until her death, talking on the phone most nights of the week until her mind no longer allowed it. Her number one concern for them was that they remain faithful Christians. They all agree that she had a profound influence in their lives.
Evelyn’s extended family and her friends were very important to her. She, along with several cousins, was instrumental in organizing the Brantley reunion from 1983 to 2011, at which time she could no longer perform the task. She was particularly fond of her nieces and nephews. Even those who lived far away stayed close to Aunt Evelyn, and anytime any of them visited the Farmerville area, he or she always took the time to visit her. What a blessing to have such a relationship! She is the only person of whom we know who has three people named for her: her niece, Jo Evelyn Brantley Ginn; her granddaughter, Maridith Jean Hollis; and her great-granddaughter, Leah Evelyn Wedding.
Her class of 1939 enjoyed a closeness that is not seen as much in today’s world. In this realm also, she, along with several of her classmates, organized reunions on a regular basis. At about the 50th reunion, they decided to have one each year and did so until 2010. She thoroughly enjoyed planning and attending these events.
Even being the attentive mother and grandmother she was, Evelyn also worked for thirty-six years. Two of those years, she was employed by the U. S. Naval Department in Camden, Arkansas, and in San Francisco, California, and thirty-four years, she worked for the Farmer’s Home Administration in Farmerville, Louisiana, serving both Union and Lincoln Parishes. She retired in January, 1979. During that time, she had the distinction of being awarded, on several occasions, with in-grade salary increases, which were over and above the standard pay increases. Such awards being granted were rare and based on a performance level above and beyond the call of duty.
After she retired, it was her privilege to do quite a bit of traveling, both overseas and in the United States. Many of the trips were with the Union Parish Council on Aging and were organized by Louise Denton. She, family members, and her friends had countless good times and made special memories. She spent many pleasant hours looking at photos taken on these excursions. Among her special traveling buddies were Mattie Gray Bird, Jan Davidson, Maxine B. Davis, Fay B. Futch, Marilyn R. Wilhite, June Albritton Petterson, Fanny Bell Smith, and Avis Waller. In addition to her travels, she was an active member of the Farmerville Book Club and the D’Arbonne Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in which she served in various positions as an officer.
Many thanks go to her wonderful caregivers, without whom it would not have been possible to stay in her home. The family is very grateful to Dina Antley, Vicki Antley, Grace Clark, Mary Jean Garris, Virginia Jones, Jean Matheson, Jean McCartney, Carol Lee Morris, Nell B. Oliver, Patty Richardson, Terri Samaniego, Peggy Simpson, Connie Wallace, and Helen Whittington. She was blessed many times over with their love and kindness. Dr. Steven Venters and his office always went “the second mile”, so to speak, in their consideration and care of her. The staff of Elara Caring Hospice in her last months was a blessing to us all. Visitation was on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at 9:00 AM with the service following at 10:30 AM at the Farmerville Church of Christ at 306 East Franklin, Farmerville, Louisiana, under the direction of Farrar Funeral Home. Graveside services were at Taylor-Liberty Hill Cemetery immediately following. Officiants were Larry White, Ben Walker, and Don Stevens. Congregational singing was lead by Jim Rhodes. Pallbearers were: Gary Aldridge, Dr. Bat Brantley, Dr. David Bruce Brantley, Kenny Brantley, Richie Brantley, Jerry Ginn, Mike Santelices, her nephews, and Randy Giddens, her cousin. Honorary pallbearers were: Eddie Albritton,-John Earl Albritton, Billy Anderson, Glen Brantley, Jesse Gill Giddens, Joe Preaus,and R. L. Roller.
If desired, any memorials can be sent to Taylor-Liberty Hill Cemetery, P. O. Box 383, Farmerville, Louisiana 71241; Southern Christian Home, P. O. Box 649, Morrilton,Arkansas 72110-9649; Spanish Missions, c/o Jackson Street Church of Christ, 1103 Jackson Street, Monroe, Louisiana 71202; the Farmerville Church of Christ, 306 East Franklin Street, Farmerville, Louisiana 71241; or the charity of your choice.