Lois Louise Watkins Spratling Grizzard of Rome, formerly of Blackshear, passed away peacefully Tuesday, January 17, 2023, just days before her 91st birthday. She was surrounded by her four children, their spouses and her grandchildren in her final days.
She was born at home in Mershon, to Grady and Estel Young Watkins as the oldest of three children. She encountered challenges early in life such as spinal meningitis and deafness, but she refused to let them stop her from reaching her goals. After finishing the eighth grade at Bristol School, one of her teachers recommended that she spend her high school years at Georgia School for the Deaf (GSD) in Cave Spring. After graduating from GSD, she went on to Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C. where she joined Delta Epsilon sorority and began a round robin yearly update with her classmates that would continue throughout her life. She graduated from Gallaudet with a degree in home economics and returned to her alma mater in Cave Spring to begin her teaching career.
She left teaching, married, and became a loving mother to two sons. After becoming widowed, she eventually remarried and added two daughters to the family. She cherished her children and prided herself on raising four children on her own. She earned a master’s degree in deaf education from Georgia State University in Atlanta and returned to teaching all subject areas at GSD. She remained there until her retirement at age 70.
Retirement gave her plenty of time to dote on her children, their spouses, her grandchildren and to work on family genealogy. She enjoyed designing websites and creating family trees so that her children and grandchildren would better understand their family roots. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and loved researching her patriot ancestor and tracing her lineage back to Wales. She also wrote and published short stories about her life that she shared with her family. This was her way of bringing her family tree to life.
“She will always be remembered for her strength, determination, curiosity and sense of fairness. Most of all, she will be remembered for the love and generosity that she lavished upon her family. Lois was a wonderful mother and grandmother who loved her family and left a lasting legacy,” said her family.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Jack Watkins.
Survivors include her children, Tim (Lynn) Spratling, Kevin (Christine) Spratling, Sabrina (Tom) Gunnell and Debra (Tony) Miller, all of Rome; six grandchildren, Jonathan Spratling, Samantha Spratling, Phillip Spratling, Connor Gunnell, Carson Miller and Collin Miller; sister, Elvie Bennett, Blackshear; cousin, Cheryl McIntosh, Blackshear and several nieces and nephews.
A private family graveside service will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, from the Lightsey Cemetery in Bristol.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at www.hartfh.com.
Hart Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.
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