Annie Lucille Stroud was born on July 13, 1933 about 10 miles from Covington. She was the fourth child of Jim and Irene Stroud, who were caretakers of the estate of Dr. Guy Hicks in Oak Hill. Little did her parents realize that through her birth God would bring into their lives a forward-thinking, cosmopolitan, stylish, outgoing and vibrant young lady into a loving family. So, her story began.
Annie, the youngest of the four Stroud children, Clinton, Clarence and Sara, was the daughter of a strong black mother and a hard-working father and good man. It was in this loving home she learned the basic skills for providing for a family: cooking, sewing and caring for home and family. At an early age, Jim and Irene instilled in their children, the most important values of all: God, faith, family and respect.
In the late 30s and 40s, out from the county seat, the segregated school system often only went to the ninth grade and was always inadequate. Such was the case for Annie and those who attended the little four-room schoolhouse beside their little church. However, Annie was a bright woman who loved reading and learning. Even after she became an adult mother, she always surrounded herself with books and magazines and periodicals of all types and encouraged her children to read.
Annie met the love of her life in Oak Hill. Although Annie and James knew each other from church and school, it was only from afar. Then, one day, as the story is told, James and his brother Charlie were passing by the Stroud home. James, a handsome young man noticed her at the house. He smiled. Annie smiled back. Unbeknownst to him, she had him hooked from that moment on, and love blossomed.
James was known locally for singing quartet gospel music and lived in the community with his mother and siblings whose relatives were one of the founders of the Richards Chapel United Methodist Church where they all belonged. James love of music sent him off to Cincinnati to pursue gospel music. However, the undeniable pull of love brought him back to Annie and they were united in Holy Matrimony on March 06, 1949.
Together, Annie and James, lived in Oak Hill faithfully loving each other for more than 70 years while raising their family of six children, serving the Lord, dedicating themselves to worshipping God, obeying His Word, and praising His name. Annie was an outstanding mother, who loved her children and always had them dressed for church and ready for Sunday School. The weekly ritual of Saturday night worship preparation was not optional. It always culminated with her daughters' hair pressed, her sons' shirts starched, and shoes prepared by a biscuit shine. If you didn't wash behind your ears, out came the dreaded moistened handkerchief for a last minute touch up on the way.
In addition to being a wonderful wife and an excellent mother and homemaker, Annie periodically worked as a domestic caretaker. She was an excellent cook and hostess whose home was always filled with the savory aroma of homecooked meals. She excelled as a hostess keeping her home overflowing with family and friends who dropped in on Sundays. She had an innate ability to "whip something up" anytime the need arose.
Annie's love for learning influenced all of her children to graduating from college with Bachelor's and Master's degrees or excelling in their careers. Not only was she a mother to her family, but when her sister Sara passed at an early age, she stepped up to help with Sylvia, Angela and Karen, loving them as her own. She loved her church, and her family and never failed to give them her best.
Annie or "Nonnie," as she was affectionately called by her grands, was a doting grandmother whose love knew no bounds. She proactively raised her grands and spoiled them with "treats, sweets and love." Her home is filled with their pictures and trophies telling the story of her overflowing love. If they wanted anything, all that they had to do was "tell Nonnie." Just like that, a little goodie-bag or treat appeared.
After integration, Annie shined by taking on the retail arena. Her warm smile, friendly demeanor, and ability to converse with anyone on any level took her from the home into local retail for many years. She worked many years for Harper's on the square and Belk's as well. From retail, she went into the Rockdale County School system where once again she thrived with a warm, outgoing personality. Annie was beloved by her many friends and acquaintances and never met a stranger. She could entertain with the best of them, and then turn heads with her grace and beauty. Annie not only had a sense of fashion and style, but she also had a great sense of humor and enjoyed laughter and fun. Her family was proud of having a "cool mom" who understood life.
Annie was a life long faithful member of the Richards Chapel United Methodist Church where she joined at an early age and was faithful until her passing. She served in many ministries and areas among which were: President of the United Methodist Women, member and Secretary of the Richards Chapel Senior Choir, Wesleyan Women's Guild, to name a few. Annie and James' love of good worship and praising God set a standard for their family which has produced two music ministers, 3 musicians, a family full of choraliers, ushers, a pastor, several speakers and a host of servants for the Lord. Indeed, they are singing, preaching, praising, worshipping family who feel the spirit and are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Late Monday evening, Annie made her transition to the church eternal with her loving husband by her side on April 15, 2019. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Jim and Irene Stroud and her two brothers and sister, Clinton, Clarence and Sara. Annie leaves to cherish her memory, a loving faithful husband, James E. Reed, Sr., children Linda Jefferson, Rosemary Reed, James Reed, Jr. (Annie), Reverend Donald K. Reed, Sr. (Natalie), Cheryl Rankins, and Stephanie Reed, sixteen grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a host of other wonderful family and friends.
A funeral service was held at noon, Saturday, April 20 at Richards Chapel United Methodist Church, 426 Richards Chapel Road, Covington, with the Rev. Robert L. Melson officiating.
The family of the late Mrs. Annie Lucile Reed wishes to acknowledge with deep appreciation the many expressions of love, concern and kindness shown to them during this hour of bereavement.