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Sept. 17, 1930 – April 9, 2023

Jean R. Lowery Gafford, a resident of Greenville, passed away on April 9, 2023, at the age of 92, surrounded by her loving family.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, April 11, at Dunklin Funeral Home with Ministers Terry Gafford and Jimmy Benson officiating with Dunklin Funeral Home directing. Burial followed in Sunrise Memorial Park.

Jean was born to Marion Washington Lowery and Lillian Mae Lowery on Sept. 17, 1930. Because of her small size and her place as the youngest of five children, she was affectionately known by her family and Brushey Creek Community as “Doodle Bug.”

She married Jack Gafford on Dec. 10, 1948. Jean was a wonderful mother to her two children, Randy and Debbie, both of whom she was very proud. In her role as a minister’s wife, she hosted countless meals and provided love and support to many families, young preachers, and to her community throughout her life. She taught children’s Bible classes and sought to spread the gospel of Christ. Jean selflessly devoted herself as caregiver to Jack’s mother and then to Jack in his final years.

Because of her humility, it is probably a little-known fact that Jean was, in fact, the greatest grandmother to ever walk this earth. She adored her four grandchildren and constantly poured her love and encouragement into them. Jean was known for her cooking and hospitality. You never entered her home without her offering you something to eat or drink, usually a freshly baked pie or cake. Her grandchildren joke often about her desire to make sure food did not go to waste with her mantra: “it’ll freeze,” in regards to any leftovers. Her home, yard and garden were impeccable for as long as she could maintain them.

Grannie Jean, as she is known to many, fought a valiant fight until the end. Even through the difficulties she faced in her final years, she always wanted to be of help. She loved God, her family and her friends very well and leaves a legacy of beauty and grace. We are all better people for having the love and example of Jean Gafford in our lives. As Scripture states in Proverbs 31:29, “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and sisters, and her loving husband, Jack.

She is survived by her devoted children, Randy Gafford, Debbie Johnson and son-in-law, Walter Johnson; her four grandchildren: Debbie Jean (Jason) Owens, Dixie (Stacey) Black, Matthew (Anita) Gafford and Daie Johnson; her nine great-grandchildren; her four great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Her family wishes to thank Southern Care Hospice for their tremendous care of Jean in her final years, as well as the Wald and Walnut Street Churches of Christ for their love and support.

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