November 26, 1914 ~ July 28, 2016
Lessie Mauppin: Oh to live to the age of 101, to be able to stay home until one’s death, and, then, to have one’s children rise up and call you blessed. I guess that would be the definition of a wonderful life. And so, we have gathered today to witness to our faith as we mourn the death of Lessie Mauppin, but more importantly, as we celebrate her life. Lessie was born in 1914 in Tishomingo, Mississippi where she grew up on a farm. In her younger years she traveled throughout the United States with her family working as a migrant farmer. It was really hard work but she always said that these times were some of her fondest memories. Lessie settled in Flint, Michigan when her husband Jim, took a job at General Motors. During this time, she took care of many of her young grandchildren. She then moved to Homestead, Florida and helped to take care of more grandchildren. In 1975, Lessie moved to Georgia, where she went to take care of more grandchildren. Just when her husband thought she was about to retire, she went to work at Sav-on Pots and plants where she would work well into her 90s. Lessie opened her home to all her family and friends. She WAS the definition of southern hospitality. She baked excellent pies. Her family also enjoyed biscuits and gravy, soup beans, and her chicken and dumplings… and so much more! Lessie found Nothing more enjoyable than talking to her family and catching up on the latest news. AND quite a lot of family Lessie had to talk with. She had 5 children, 18 grandchildren, at least 21 great grandchildren, and even some great-great grandchildren. Some of her favorite pastimes were playing ROOK, going to the horse and dog track, and playing the slots. And she loved a good ‘scoop’. She TRULY had a wonderful life. She adored her 4 pound Yorkie named Benji in the last 15 years of her life. Lessie was the proverbial matriarch of her family. She would listen and provide good and careful counsel. So what is the secret to Lessie’s longevity? Besides having “good genes” The secret of her longevity was her sheer enjoyment of life, hard work, and a positive attitude. Lessie never met a stranger. These last few weeks and months, have found Lessie beginning to slip away. The words of Ecclesiastes describe the time for everything that our human life is, especially a time to be born and a time to die. Not every family has the good fortune to keep their beloved mother, sister, and friend for all these many years. Surely not every one of us will have 101 years between our time to be born and our time to die. Lessie truly did run a good race. Thanks be to God. Now, you already know that there are no amount of years that equal “enough” with people whom we cherish. Lessie may have been 101 and ready to go to heaven, and yet, we still weren’t finished loving on her. So, in your grief, it’s your time to come close to God, to feel God’s loving arms around you as you move into this next phase of your own life, as you realize that there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love in Christ. God be with you as you celebrate the wonderful life in Christ as you are missing Lessie.