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Public Notices

April 19, 2014

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Blanche White Grady

Published: 10/01/2012

Died: Sept. 28, 2012

Blanche White Grady, a widely-known, highly-respected Greenevillian, died peacefully Friday at Laughlin Memorial Hospital. She would have been 96 years old in December.

Born Blanche Evelyn White in Bertie County, N.C., her parents were Zachariah White and Alfreidy Slade White.

She was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in Education from East Carolina Teachers College (now East Carolina University) and married Earl Whitfield Grady in 1942. They moved to Greeneville in June of 1950.

As a beloved educator, Blanche Grady taught in the Greeneville City School System for 28 years, first at Crescent School and later at EastView Elementary School.

Her influence is fondly remembered by her students, peer faculty members, and the administration of both Greeneville and Greene County school systems.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a daughter, Gayle Cunningham; a granddaughter-in-law, Sheryl Cunningham; and several siblings.

She is survived by a daughter: Anna Grady of Fredericksburg, Va.; a granddaughter: Lisa Cunningham of Rockville, Md.; a grandson: Kent Cunningham of Nashville; and two great-grandchildren: Brionna Cunningham and Gage Elkins of Nashville.

Mrs. Grady's life encompassed three things: God, family, and community.

As a devout Christian, her varied activities throughout her life in religious service set her apart in her church as a woman of unusual talents and commitment.

She was a member of First Baptist Church of Greeneville and taught Sunday School (the Carianna Class) for more than 25 years.

She had such a strong faith in God, and that faith was a source of great strength for her. She prayed her way through the Great Depression; her husband's deployment to Europe in World War II; his extended illness; her daughter, Gayle's illness; and both of their deaths.

Her family was blessed every day to have her guidance and love and steady support.

A family spokesperson went on to say that the White family was a very close-knit group, and Mrs. Grady lovingly organized a huge family reunion every two years at the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The White family was large, and this time provided union between cousins and aunts and uncles. These gatherings created memories for her family and gave her children and grandchildren knowledge of a family lineage of which to be proud.

Her strong sense of community and community service, in addition to her devotion to her church, provided over 8,000 hours of service as a Laughlin Memorial Hospital volunteer.

She always said she received more blessings than she gave when she helped others at the hospital, as a volunteer. She was so excited when the new hospital opened.

As a founding member of the Laughlin Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees, she brought dignity, experience, and a generous heart to challenge and motivate Foundation staff and board members.

The family states that she was incredibly honored and humbled when Scott and Nikki Niswonger and Scott's mother, the late Sharon Niswonger, collaborated with Laughlin Health Care Foundation to establish a community service award in her honor.

The award recognizes individuals from the community who, like Mrs. Grady, work diligently, without recognition, in their role to make Greeneville and Greene County a better place in which to live.

The Blanche Grady Community Service Award began in 1996 by announcing the award, its purpose, and honoring Mrs. Grady.

Since the initial event, it has been a vehicle to honor individual(s) each year who exhibit the high qualities of community service that were embedded in the life of the late honoree. The event was an exciting and rewarding time for her.

She was an honorary member of the Andrew Johnson Women's Club and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Teacher's Sorority, Psi Chapter. She held various positions of leadership in both organizations.

She told her granddaughter, Lisa, that she wanted to be remembered as a caring wife, mother, and grandmother, and a friend to many, especially the lonely and those with special needs.

A celebration of life service is scheduled for noon Tuesday in the chapel at Doughty- Stevens Funeral Home and will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. David Green, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Greeneville, whom she loved and admired.

Visitation with the family will be held at the funeral home from 10 a.m. to noon prior to the service.

Pallbearers will be Scott Niswonger, Dick Parrack, and the deacons of First Baptist Church.

Private burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Greeneville, 211 N. Main St., Greeneville, TN 37745, and to the Blanche W. Grady Community Service Award, c/o Laughlin Health Care Foundation, 1420 Tusculum Blvd., Greeneville, TN 37745.

The family gratefully acknowledges the loving support given by Mary Rednour, her caregiver and friend, for many years, and to the staff of Morning Pointe Assisted Living, where Mrs. Grady made her home for the past 11 years.

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