Monday, October 5, 2009

Cora Elizabeth (Gan) Williams 1901-2004

Cora Elizabeth (Gan) Williams, one of seven children born to the late James Elsberry and Arrena Louisa (Crossland) Gan, was born May 25, 1901 at Smith Hollow, a small community which is now part of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Cora was delivered by a mid-wife and weighed only 1 ½ pounds. As a young girl, she attended a one room schoolhouse known as the Lone Star School.

On May 2, 1920, Cora was united in marriage to James Sterling Williams at Wharton, Missouri. Together they shared over 64 years of marriage and were blessed with 6 children: Dorcas Asilea, Edna Arrena, Kellis Lloyd, Ella Lucinda, Donna Lea Lorene and James Floyd.

Shortly after their marriage, Cora and James moved back to the Waynesville area to make their home raising their family and became one of the true pioneers of Pulaski County. She worked hard cutting stave bolts during the depression and later worked as a seamstress for a tailor shop on Ft. Leonard Wood for several years. She cleaned houses for many doctors and local people in the area. She worked hard all her life until she had to retire because of a broken hip.

Cora enjoyed working in her gardens and yard. She loved watching her flowers grow, especially her roses and violets. She was a member of the Home Extension Club.

As a young girl, Cora accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and was baptized. She was a devoted member of the Friendship Baptist Church for many years before moving her membership to the Deerlick Baptist Church in the late 1930’s.

Cora went home to be with her Lord at 10:20 P.M. Monday, March 15, 2004 in the Life Care Center of Waynesville at the age of 102 years, 9 months and 18 days.

Cora will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by her three daughters: Donna Shoemaker of Waynesville, Arrena Graves of Laquey and Ella Rose of Canyon City, Colorado; one sister: Effie Tucker of Buckhorn; 21 grandchildren; numerous great and great-great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

In addition to her parents, Cora was also preceded in death by her husband, James on November 27, 1984; three children, Dorcas Asilea Bales and Kellis Lloyd and James Floyd Williams; four grandchildren; one brother and four sisters.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 P.M. Friday, March 19, 2004 in the Deerlick Baptist Church with Cora’s grandson, Rev. Danny Graves officiating. Rev. Gary Humphrey opened the service with prayer and read the obituary. Rev. Elmer Turnbough read a poem selected by the family. Pianist Georgia Primus played the prelude and postlude and Soloist Becky Lercher sang “Amazing Grace” and “Precious Memories”. Serving as escorts were Eddie Graves, Rogert Graves, Randy Laribee, Felton R. Shoemaker, Luis ViJarro and James (Jimmy) Williams. Serving as honorary escorts were Cora’s granddaughters and grandsons.

Burial followed in the Deerlick Cemetery with the song “Amazing Grace” played by bagpipes. Services were under the direction of Waynesville Memorial Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Cora Williams to the Deerlick Cemetery and may be left at the funeral home.

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