Edna Marie Hattaway Williams

Edna Marie Hattaway Williams

Mrs. Edna Marie Hattaway Williams was born on August 8, 1928 to Ezra and Reudell Hattaway.

She attended Calvin High School. She married the love of her life, Audrey Williams, whom she met at the Civilian Conservation Corp Camp. When they eloped on April 1, 1944, Audrey wrote a letter to Ezra and Reudell promising to love and care for Edna. She was a devoted wife and mother, never happier than when she had all her kids together at home and she could cook good things to eat.

Edna grew up in the Great Depression, raised four children, survived the bite of a copperhead and killed countless more with a hoe. Fearsome with a hoe, Edna had poor aim with a rifle. She famously raised the bedroom window one afternoon and aimed a .22 at deer in the east garden. Both survived the incident.

Like most country people who grew up in the Depression, she knew hard times and hard work. She and Audrey carefully saved the money Audrey earned fighting forest fires to build their dream home. Edna was always busy cooking, cleaning or taking care of the garden.

She was an excellent cook, though she often joked her next house would not be outfitted with a kitchen. Her fried chicken, biscuits and fig preserves were legendary. Her fruitcake won over even the staunchest resisters.

Edna loved to entertain, whether it was drinking coffee with a neighbor, making homemade ice cream or hosting music jam sessions. Though Edna could not play a musical instrument, she could tell Audrey when his fiddle was out of tune. They frequently traveled to music festivals.

Edna had a green thumb. She and Audrey worked long hours in the garden raising vegetables that Edna would put up in the freezer or they would share with friends. Edna loved to shell peas and was faster than anyone. She never cared for pea shelling machines.

When the weather was bad and she couldn’t be outside, Edna’s favorite pastime was watching football. She followed the careers of Archie Manning’s sons and often spoke about them as though she knew the family. She likewise followed the career of Nick Saban whose coaching style and brevity of speech she admired.

Edna had a lively sense of humor and loved to laugh and joke. One of her favorite props was a plastic tarantula that she loved to slip between the bed sheets or throw at someone’s feet unexpectedly.

She was a devoted wife. When Audrey entered the nursing home in the spring of 2014, Edna traveled back and forth to see him as often as she could. It was exhausting for her to do this, but Edna was not happy unless she was with Audrey. She moved to Autumn Leaves one year later after a fall at home. Once reunited, Edna continued to care for Audrey and often supervised nurses and aides regarding his care. She always knew what was best for him, whether he knew it or not.

At Autumn Leaves, Edna developed a reputation as “the pie lady.” Her refrigerator and pantry were well-stocked with pies, cake and ice cream gathered by Michelle Thompson who shopped for the residents and who was nicknamed Miss Wal-Mart. Edna eagerly shared these desserts with anyone who stopped by. And when they refused pie, she would ask, “Why?”

The family wishes to express their deepest thanks to Dr. Eric Dupree, to Legacy Hospice, to the therapy department, to social worker Sandy Teal, and to the nurses and nurse aides who supported Edna, especially Sherlene Green.

Edna was preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Audrey Ray Williams; parents Ezra and Reudell Hattaway; her brother Billy Hattaway; son-in-law John Ray Koonce and close friends Gilbert and Violet Palmer.

She is survived by her son Reggy (Cele) Williams of Atlanta, LA; daughter Patsy Gayle Koonce of Alexandria, LA; daughter Melisa (Michael) Castranova of Cedar Rapids, IA; daughter Vonda (James) Oliver of Bay City, MI; and close friends Ruth Cross, Winnie Johnson, Lynn and Ann Maxey and Eddie and Helen Wright who were frequent visitors.

Funeral services were held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Southern Funeral Home with Mr. Dayton Collinsworth officiating. Interment followed in Antioch Community Cemetery in Brewton’s Mill.

The family received friends at the funeral home on Friday from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM and again on Saturday from 9:00 AM until time of services.

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