Una Lee Smith Gravley (1926 - 2014)

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Una Lee Smith Gravley, 88, passed away on Aug. 11, 2014, at the Golden Living Center in Springfield, Va., where she had been under nursing care for two years.
She was born on July 1, 1926, in the Woodlawn area to Richard Monroe Smith and Ethel Blanche Edwards.
She was preceded in death by husband, Wilburn Lee Gravley in 1998; and sister, Pauline Smith Painter in 2012. Survivors from Springfield, Va., include a daughter, Nancy Jean Martin and husband Kenneth; granddaughter Sara Martin and husband Upshur Whittock, and their daughters Ella (7) and Rose (2); granddaughter, Susie Yancey and husband Joe and their daughter Rachel (6) and son Benjamin (17 mo.); a brother, Harold Smith; a sister, Nina Jones and husband Buddy, all of Woodlawn; a brother-in-law Gilbert Lawson (Emma Gravley) of Hillsville; plus numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
The Gravleys moved to High Point, N.C., in 1959 where Wilburn worked for many years at the Drexel Heritage Furniture plant.
There they became members of the Albertson Road Missionary Baptist Church, which set the tone for their lives. Wilburn filled many jobs and was chairman of the Deacons for several terms while Una Lee began to develop her skills behind the scenes in teaching Sunday school, directing youth Christmas plays and organizing Bible School. When they took the position of church custodian, Una Lee also became the church hostess and decorated for every event and holiday.
She also continued to be an outstanding seamstress and made all of her own clothes and Nancy's, including coats, suits, prom dresses, a wedding dress, and everything down to the most beautiful hand-stitched buttonholes you have ever seen.
Una Lee also had a green thumb and loved and protected her flowers by watering them at least twice a day.
She was an expert at all kinds of needle work and crafting and crossword puzzles.
Christmas was her favorite time of year and she decorated every room of her house and made dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies as gifts to friends and family. She was also expected to bring her lasagna to the annual family Christmas Eve dinner.
And she was a collector, with much help from anyone who wanted to give her a gift. She started with small china dogs, then owls, glass paper weights, rings, and jewelry.
When Mrs. Gravley moved to Campbellsville, Ky., in 2002 she joined the Red Hat Society and attended musical programs at the University where Kenneth was Professor of Music as well as tending a large yard and gold fish pond. The students called her Granny G, as did her grandchildren and their friends from high school and Wake Forest University.
In 2007 she moved to Springfield, Va., (D.C. area) to set up a four-generation household with Nancy, Kenneth, Sara, Upshur and Ella who arrived three weeks later. Since she was now a great-granny her name became "GG" and she loved every minute of it.
Visitation will be Sunday, Sept. 7,2014, at 2 p.m. and a memorial service and inurnment at 3 p.m. at the Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 748 Woodlawn Road, Woodlawn, Va. 24381 (Carroll County). The Rev. Richard Mullan will officiate.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to the Alzheimer's Foundation www.alzfdn.org (866) 232-8484 or to the Woodlawn Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Carolyn Farmer-Treasurer, 128 Forest Oak Road, Woodlawn, Va. 24381.
Arrangements were handled by Advent Funeral and Cremation Service of Falls Church, Va.
Funeral Home
Advent Funeral Home
7211 Lee Highway
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 241-7402
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Published in Galax Gazette from Sept. 1 to Sept. 3, 2014