Services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, March 22, 2014, at the Rosedale Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Michael McLaughlin officiating, followed by graveside services at Beulah Cemetery in Beulah.
Visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. at the church prior to the services. Joyce Simpson Sledge will serve as pianist.
The family welcomes friends to gather after the services to share memories and to celebrate her life at 104 Terrene Road in Rosedale.
Ray Funeral Home of Cleveland is in charge of arrangements.
Born Aug. 29, 1933, in the King’s Daughters Hospital in Rosedale, to Wilmer Eugene and Lucy Caldwell (Elliott) Jackson, Mrs. Gartrell grew up and spent the first half of her life in Rosedale, where she was a member of the Rosedale Presbyterian Church.
In 1950, she graduated from Rosedale High School. During her school tenure, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pied Piper newspaper and as one of a four-member team that won the state championship debate competition. In 1948, she was selected as Queen of Rosedale’s May Festival and, in 1950, made her debut with the Delta Debutante Club of Greenville.
She attended The University of Mississippi, where she was a Phi Mu, later earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Delta State University. She earned all A’s in her coursework, except a B in First Aid, which she subsequently referred to as her “B in Bandages."
In 1951, she married William Segar Coleman of Inverness, with whom she had two children, Lucy and Jack, and remained married for 17 years. The couple raised their family in Rosedale, where her husband worked for the family business, Jackson Lumber Company. Later, she was married for a lengthy period to Hartley Sanford of Cleveland. They remained friends for the rest of his life.
She spent her career with the Mississippi Department of Human Services, with her top position being in charge of child support enforcement for the entire state. Upon retirement, she became a REALTOR® and antiques dealer.
She lived in Jackson for approximately 30 years and was a devoted member of Covenant Presbyterian Church and later Fondren Presbyterian Church. While in Jackson, she was Regent of the Ralph Humphries Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Chairman of the Hinds County Republican Women’s Club, member of the River Hills Club, and an avid participant in numerous women’s social and bridge clubs. She especially enjoyed playing duplicate bridge.
In later life, she married Francis Eugene Gartrell and enjoyed a happy marriage, each bringing joy to the other’s life for eight years until his death in 2004.
In the last few years, she moved back to Rosedale, reconnected with old friends and family and made many new friends. She had always loved Rosedale and considered it her true home. She also rejoined her original DAR Chapter, the Mississippi Delta Chapter.
“GranBet,” as her family lovingly knew her, loved spending time with and advising her family members, who were at the core of her life and interest. She was especially pleased in recent years to have gained three great-grandsons to add to her happiness.
Her family fondly remembers her love of people, quick wit, enchanting stories and keen sense of style. She was truly one-of-a-kind and had a legion of friends. Her dramatic spirit was highlighted when she played the role of the eccentric actress "Vera Charles" in the Cleveland Little Theater Production of “Auntie Mame.” She held a deep admiration for arts and culture, most notably music, dance, drama and literature. She had an uncanny ability to recall word-for-word literary quotations perfect for all situations. She loved traveling with her family, including visits to England, France, Greece and Italy among other locales.
She is survived by two children, Lucy Caldwell Elliott of Alexandria, Va., and William Jackson Coleman of Rosedale; six grandchildren, Pat Walton Denton Jr., and his wife, Alice, of Nashville, Tenn., Sara Katherine Coleman of Arlington, Va., Elizabeth Elliott Bradford of Los Angeles, Calif., Geoffrey Reese Bradford and Mary Elliott Coleman Farrell and her husband, Stuart, all of Washington, D.C., and Lucy Jackson Coleman of Rosedale; and three great-grandchildren, Charles Walton Denton and James Williamson Denton, both of Nashville, Tenn., and Thomas Francis Farrell III, of Washington, D.C.
Pallbearers will be Donald Clark Caffey, Robert Shields Crump, Eugene Porter Leftwich, III, and George Winfield Scott Jr., all of Rosedale, Pat Walton Denton Jr., of Nashville, Tenn., Geoffrey Reese Bradford and Stuart Tullidge Farrell of Washington, D.C., Nicholas Andrews McKie of Madison, William Keithley Dossett, Robert Rule Maxwell Jr., and Robert Paul Wilbanks, all of Cleveland, and Ralph Donald Conger Jr., of Malvina.
Honorary pallbearers are William Dale Bell of Chevy Chase, Md., Walter Raleigh Coppedge of Richmond, Va., William Powell Gourlay, Leo George McGhee, John Lafayette Pearson, III, John Lafayette Pearson, IV, Juniper Yates Trice, and James Howard Walton, all of Rosedale, Miss., Donald James Blackwood, John Scott Coopwood, Pat Walton Denton, and Floyd Foster (Donny) Whitten, all of Cleveland, William Dixon Dossett of Beulah, and Robert Rule Maxwell of Ruleville.
Memorials may be made to the Rosedale Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 249, Rosedale, MS 38769.
To view and sign online guestbook, go to http://www.rayfuneralhome.net/