Dec. 13, 1931 – July 13, 2021
Jean Bodiford, 89, a resident of Greenville, died Tuesday, July 13, 2021. The “Celebration of Life” service was Saturday, July 17, at Southside Baptist Church with Reverend Herbert Brown and Hospice Chaplain Jason Simmons officiating and Dunklin Funeral Home directing. Burial was at Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery.
“Granny Jean”, as she was known by so many, was preceded in death by her loving husband, Kelly Bodiford; parents, Edward A. Cobb and Nina Mae Sollie Cobb; sisters, Mary E. Cobb and Mary Lou Weaver; brothers, Walter E. “Buddy” Cobb, Edward A “Junior” Cobb, and Ray Cobb; and son-in-law, Phillip Pickens.
She was also blessed to have a wonderful 2nd mother, Alfreda Cobb, following the death of her birth mother when Granny Jean was seven years old.
She is survived by her children, Betty Bodiford Pickens of Greenville, Sally Bodiford Piggott (James) of Greenville, and Linda Bodiford Jernigan (Patrick) of Greenville; grandchildren, Ginger Norman (Todd) of Greenville, Raisin Seymour (Clint) of Auburn, Kal Piggott of Greenville, Tricia Jernigan of Fort Worth, Texas, Leander Pickens (Kathy) of Greenville, Robie Hinson (Tommy) of Greenville, Leonora Harrison (Nathan) of Mobile, Slade Piggott (Jehle) of Greenville, Bodie Pickens (Beth) of Brewton, and Lillian Jernigan of Columbia, S.C.; great-grandchildren, Cody Norman, Cam (Bailey) Norman, Haley Esperago, Jacob Seymour, Blake and Kaylee Piggott, Jamie and Noah Pickens, Blaine Hinson, Phillip Harrison, William Pride and McFerrin Piggott, and Samuel and Elizabeth Grace Pickens; sisters, Anne Brown of Frisco City, and Sandra Bradley of Spanish Fort; brother, Clifford Allen of Mobile; brother-in-law, Robert Bodiford of Excel; many nieces and nephews; and faithful furry companions, Dixie, who was always by Granny’s side, and Mavis, her 22 year old cat.
Granny Jean was born on Dec. 13, 1931, in Megargel, Ala. She was an “A” student in school at Frisco City, before she chose to drop out at age 15 to lovingly take care of her mother and younger siblings. Granny Jean lived a life of sacrificially serving others.
Granny Jean was an influence to many generations of children at Southside Baptist Church in Greenville. Being the 6th grade Sunday School teacher for almost 40 years, many children came through her class. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were many that were influenced by her Biblical teaching. She leaves quite a legacy on so many lives. She taught mission friends, VBS, discipleship training, and joined alongside her husband, Kelly Bodiford in leading the bus ministry.
For many years, she was faithful in sitting at the end of the 2nd row at Southside Baptist Church. She LOVED her seat! Her grandchildren had to take turns on Sundays sitting by her.
Granny Jean loved her Atlanta Braves! Her favorite players were Freddie Freeman and Ron Acuna. She was often very excited about a Braves victory, and she showed this excitement by saying, “How ‘bout them Braves!” as many of her grandchildren would call after the game.
Even in her last days, she was excited about her Braves! She said, “Hoorah Hoorah” as the Braves were leading, and she gave an excited “How ‘bout them Braves!” after their victory.
Granny Jean loved drinking root beer! As she was in her bed, she gathered her daughters around her to let them know that she loved them and that she was ready to see her Savior.
She was about to go to sleep, as she proudly requested, “I want some root beer!.” She then smirked, and said, “I fooled ya!” Her sense of humor was very evident in this lighthearted moment in her last days.
Perhaps, her greatest legacy is that of hospitality. When one would come to Granny Jean’s house, they would come away with a full stomach. One can just taste her biscuits, chicken and dumplings, deer meat, macaroni and cheese, and pound cake now.
Some of her recipes, she remembered in her head. From weekly Wednesday church staff lunches to revival meals to friends of grandchildren from college and graduate school, many have eaten around her dinner table. There are so many honorary members of the Bodiford family. Granny Jean made anyone feel welcome around her dinner table.
The verse Granny quoted in her last days was 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Granny’s faith in Jesus was very evident throughout her life, and particularly in her last days. It is a comfort knowing that she is spending eternity with her Lord and Savior.
Pallbearers for Granny Jean’s “Celebration of Life” were: Tommy Hinson, Todd Norman, Bodie Pickens, Leander Pickens, Kal Piggott, and Slade Piggott.
Granny Jean’s family would like to thank the members of Southside Baptist Church. Your visits, meals, and friendship mean so much to our family. We would like to thank Dr. Pam Ingram for treating Granny Jean during her illness. We would also like to thank Heather, Andrea, Monica, April, and Jason with Southern Care Hospice for your care of Granny Jean. You have become family!