Normadene Walters Griffith Jackson was born on November 3, 1927, to Finis Ewing Walters and Dollie Nichols Walters, in Starrville, Texas, on the Texas Heritage family farm where her mother ' s family had farmed since 1872. On Friday, January 5, 2018, Normadene, then living on the same farm on which she was born, while surrounded by her loving family, was called Home and went to her Heavenly Home (John 14: 2-3) to see her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. and to be reunited with her beloved parents and sister.
Normadene is survived by her elder son, Stephen L. Griffith, and his wife Ronda. and their children, Emily Griffith Reich and her husband Jake, and Andrew Griffith and his wife Bitia and their children Jude and Lucy Griffith. her younger son, Sam Griffith. and Shelley Griffith and her children Just in, Lauren and Jacob, as well as her "adopted" daughter, Genie DeLong, and stepdaughters Sharon Jackson Luttman and her husband Bruce, and Jan Jackson, and her many special friends including " Brother" John Crossland, Dorothy Dugger, Beth Waller and Mary Lowry, and so many other friends. She was predeceased by her parents, Finis and Dollie Walters, her sister, Anita MacFarlane, and her husband Marvin.
Normadene was born on the eve of the Great Depression and attended Starrville Independent School District from first to eight grade, which met in the school house her father, Finis Walters. had helped build, and which is now the Starrville Community Center. There she made lifelong friends, including Ernestene (Barber) Riggs, Geraldene (Vaughn) Espenior, and Bobbie (King) Dozier. Normadene, Ernestene and Geraldene all lived into their nineties and savored their lifelong friendship and visited each other often. After graduating from Starrville, Normadene and her friends attended Winona High School, where they graduated in 1944 during the hard, stark days of World War II. Normadene wrote several volumes of stories about her childhood. telling about rural east Texas life in the Great Depression and the joys and pleasures of growing up in such a loving family and community. Indeed, part of one of her stories she wrote was used by her son, Sam, as part of his dedication of his first novel to her.
The focus and the love of her life was her two sons, Steve and Sam. Mom was supremely proud of her two sons, extolling their integrity and goodness, qualities they learned from her. Mom enjoyed her family, cooking delectable meal s and wonderful pies and cakes and cookies and other desserts. And she was an amazing m1ist and craftswoman. Mom sketched, drew, crocheted. knitted, and often designed and sewed her own dresses and blouses. and for a number of years even made Steve's and Sam's shirts for school. For a number of years, she designed and made beautifully sewn dolls for Annie's Attic in Big Sandy, an exclusive shop for hand-crafted clothes and dolls, as well as sewing beautiful wedding gowns. And for over a decade, Mom was a nurse at the East Texas Chest Hospital, now called UT-Tyler Health Center, in Owentown.
In 1983, after marrying Marvin Jackson, whom she met at Starrville School, and whose mother was best friends with Mom's mother, Mom moved to a farm north of Gilmer for several decades, before returning after Marvin ' s death, to the family farm for Mom's last full, joyful, abundant years of life. While in Gilmer, she made countless other friends, while she diligently and faithfully lived out her life as a Daughter of the Most High LORD GOD, including volunteering to help prepare monthly meals at the Gilmer Church of Christ for the needy. Perhaps Mom's most impactful and beneficial ministry, for decades, even into her eighties, Mom developed her own new ministry where she went to nursing homes and sought out residents who had no visitors, and she would become a friend to those lonely shut-ins, and Mom would make weekly visits to those lonely women, showering them with bouquets of flowers, and cookies and cakes and other delicious foods, and beautifully wrapped gifts. Even as an octogenarian herself, she called that loving service to the elderly as her ministry to "the old folks", demonstrating that with a giving, serving Christian heart, one is never too old to serve. Even in her late eighties and after her ninetieth birthday, when she was limiting herself to only driving herself to church and short shopping trips and so she could not visit the nursing homes, Mom developed a new ministry where she phoned and chatted with numerous widows, sick folks, and other shut-ins who had few outside contacts, and each Monday, Mom would send them uplifting notes and cards containing lots of "funnies'' she had cut out from the comic strips to lift their spirits as they struggled with their own physical limitations.
And on Friday, January 5, 2018, Mom was bourne on the wings of angels into Heaven, there to be reunited with her loving parents and sister, her friends, and there to meet her Savior face-to face. There she will celebrate Eternity, dwelling, not in a " mansion" down the road, but living eternally in Her Heavenly Father's House. (John 14: 1-3).
Mom is now gone from us, darkening and diminishing our world, but she has flown ahead on angels' wings, Mom becoming part of a glorious "sequential Rapture," with us being "left behind," but we have an abiding hope and belief that we too will be joining her and the other saints anon. Visitation will be from 5-7 Monday at Jackson's Burks Walker Tippit. Service will be Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
at the funeral home, with burial thereafter in the Starrville Cemetery. The service will be conducted by Ken Brumley. Pallbearers will be Ken Huchton, Col. Charles Rice, Bobby Van Ness, Bobby Van Ness, Jr., Ronnie Van Ness, Dan Lowry, Don Davidson, Tim Jones, David Easling and Eddie Coleman.
The family wishes to thank Harbor Hospice and to Comfort Keepers of Longview and their gentle, loving staffs for caring for Mom.
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