Barbara Jean Lee McCaghren

Barbara Jean Lee McCaghren


Following a noon to 2 p.m. visitation and viewing on Monday, December 17, 2012, Brother David Barker will conduct a formal memorial service in the Parkway Funeral Home Chapel. Chris LeMay will lead family and friends in sharing special memories of Life with "Nannie Jean." Burial will follow in the East Memorial Gardens.

Born on September 30, 1933, Mrs. McCaghren died at her home on Thursday, December 13, 2012, a fitting date in the hearts of her family. Now, she and her husband of more than 60 years, Melvin L. McCaghren, share both birth and death dates. Mr. McCaghren was born on September 30, 1929, and died on July 13, 2012.

Mrs. McCaghren was born in Lawrence County to Noah C. Lee and Lena Shankle Lee. She was preceded in death by both parents, and she was the last surviving sibling of eight.

Her brothers included Gilbert Lee of Trinity, Thomas Lee of Decatur, Hoyt Lee of Ypsilanti, Mich., Murphy Lee of Trinity and Clifford Lee of Decatur.

Her sisters were Lucille and Margaret Ann Lee, both of whom died when Mrs. McCaghren was a young child. Making the loss of these two daughters even more difficult for the Lee family was the fact that they died only 18 days apart.

Mrs. McCaghren was also preceded in death by her beloved granddaughter, Marcy Melinda McCaghren, the baby of her five grandchildren, whom she has longed to hold again since 2005 when Marcy died tragically in an automobile accident at the age of 19.

A Daughter of the Great Depression, Jean McCaghren believed in using what one had, saving everything, and being grateful for even the simplest elements of beauty.

"Miss Jean," as friends affectionately called her, was never a member of a garden club, but she was born with the innate skills of a master gardener. Regardless of the season, her property was abloom or ablaze with color and textural contrast. For "Miss Jean," working in her yard was more than a hobby, it was a way of life that sustained her enthusiasm and kept her physically active, even though toward the waning years of her life she had to sit on a bucket and lean on elements of support to plant and weed.

The artistic effect of her labors will be missed by all who travel Lawrence County Road 324 and have enjoyed the ever-changing landscape surrounding her home. In a botanical sense, Miss Jean's death is the equivalent of Maycomb County's losing Miss Maudie Atkinson.

A member of the Midway Church of Christ, Nannie Jean loved all children and was never too tired to listen to their stories with rapt attention as they unwrapped the gum sticks she carried in her purse. Nannie's love extended to all of God's creatures, unless they made the mistake of digging in her flower beds...then they were in trouble with her, be they animal or grandchild, that is, until she became a great-grandmother. At that point, seeing the smiles on their faces far outweighed any damage to her flowers.

Jean McCaghren spent her life as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. But she also made room in her heart and her home for the nieces and nephews who lived with her for various periods of time. All of them consider her to be a second mother and cherish the memories created in that tiny house filled with love, fun, and food, regardless of the time of day or night one entered her home.

Survivors include one son, Roger Dale McCaghren (Judy); and one daughter, Phyllis McCaghren LeMay (Neil), all of Moulton.

Surviving grandchildren include Timothy Neil LeMay (Barb), Christopher Scott LeMay (Brooke), Misty McCaghren Allen (Jonathan) and Mandy McCaghren Walden (Nathan).

Her eight great-grandchildren have known what complete acceptance and unconditional love are. They have lived as princes and princesses in her home and will, no doubt, carry lifelong memories of her doting on them, playing with them, and making each one his or her own special milkshake on demand. Milkshakes, like all of her food, were filled with heaping helpings of "Nannie's Love."

These fortunate individuals include Taylor Marie LeMay, Zachary Neil LeMay, Adelyn Kate LeMay, Ty Christopher LeMay, Macy Keegan Allen, Jaylee Makena Allen, Gavin Nate Walden and Marley Chelle Walden.

Mrs. McCaghren is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and five sisters-in-law who have enriched her life beyond measure with love and shared memories, Jane Lee of Decatur, Rachel Lee of Trinity, Mildred Lee of Ypsilanti, Merlene "Sis" Johnson of Moulton and Wanda West of Hartselle.

Pallbearers will be Tim LeMay, Chris LeMay, Zach LeMay, Jonathan Allen, Nathan Walden, Gavin Walden, Nathan Lee and David Lee.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Marcy McCaghren Memorial Scholarship Fund at the East Lawrence branch of Bank Independent.

Published in the Decatur Daily on Dec. 16, 2012