On Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008, our hearts were saddened by the passing of our mother, Big Ma, sister, aunt and friend, Thelma McCray Batts, after a period of declining health.
She was born July 11, 1932, in Dinwiddie County to the late Adelious and Mazie McCray. She was a lifelong member of the Olive Branch Baptist Church, Dinwiddie, Va. She received her education in the Dinwiddie County School System, and was a former employee of Seward Luggage Manufacturing Co., Petersburg.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George W. Batts Sr.; two sons, George W. Batts Jr. and William A. Batts; three brothers, John McCray, Thomas McCray and Adelious McCray; two daughters-in-law, Gloria Batts and Joanne Batts. She will truly be missed by all who knew and loved her dearly.
She leaves to cherish a legacy of precious memories, four loving and devoted children, Larry T. Batts (Rosalyn), Thelma Batts-Taylor, all of Petersburg, Mary Batts-Jefferson of Prince George and Grace Batts-Johnson (James) of Dinwiddie; eight grandchildren, one most devoted, James Jefferson III of Dinwiddie, Linwood Batts, Donvan Jones, Adelious Batts, Felicia Batts, CaSandra Merrick (Anthony), Rutanya Johnson and Dequincy Batts; 12 great-grandchildren; a devoted great-grandson, James A. Jefferson III; one devoted brother, Langston McCray (Mattie) of Dinwiddie; five devoted sisters, Mary Brown (Thomas) of Disputanta, Doris G. Piercy (John) of Dinwiddie, Mazie Batts and Gloria Glover of Colonial Heights, and Laura M. Allen of Durham, N.C.; six sisters-in law, one most devoted, the Rev. Doris McCray of Petersburg, Isadora McCray of New York, Annie M. Batts, Virginia Browder, Annie Barnum, all of Dinwiddie, and Agnes Batts of Petersburg; one aunt, Kitty Dean of New York; a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, two devoted, Mary Ruddock (Rupert) Dinwiddie and James O. Montque (Anne), Philadelphia; many friends, most devoted, Juanita Dickens (Spencer), Catherine Gilliam, Inez White (John) and Deacon Jesse Blackwell, all of Dinwiddie.
We would like to give special thanks to the staff at the Golden Living Center, Battlefield Park Home Care Connection and Ms. Francine King, her caregiver. Also to Dr. Mark Ende of Petersburg, and Dr. Phillip Duncan of Chester.
A celebration of love and life will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 29, 2008, at the Olive Branch Baptist Church, 11119 Boydton Plank Road, Dinwiddie, with the pastor, the Rev. Kevin N. Northam, officiating. Burial will follow at the Dinwiddie Memorial Park. The family will assemble at 10:15 a.m. the residence of her daughter and son-in-law, James and Grace Johnson, 14911 Courthouse Road, Dinwiddie. The family may be reached at (804) 469-3610 and (804) 731-3386.
Public viewing will be held at the Joseph M. Johnson & Son Funeral Home on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Joseph M. Johnson & Son Funeral Home, 11107 Doyle Blvd., McKenney, (804) 478-4411.