Summary: This is the funeral of my aunt, a believer who cared a lot about family and giving of herself on behalf of others.
Eulogy For Jeanell Mobley by Rick Gillespie- Mobley
God creates some people who are to become very important in the world, and God creates some people who to be very special in the world. Now some would say it is better to be important than to be special, but I think when we come to the end of our days, we’re not looking back to see how important we were, but rather were we special in the lives of others.
When death is staring at us in the face, we do not usually take great pride in our degree from Harvard or Yale or in our position as executive vice president, nearly as much as we do from a child saying I love so much because of all that you did for me and I’m going to miss you. Jeanell Mobley was not created to be somebody important whose name would cover the country and the globe at large, but I cannot think of anyone else who has been more special in the way that she has touched the lives of others. Most of us here has a moment in our lives that was made special because we were touched by Jeanell.
God sent Jeanell as a gift of joy to the world in the midst of some very dark days. A little over a week after she was born, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Hitler had conquered much of Europe and for the first three years of her life, it was not known who would win World War II. She was born in the heart of the south, where segregation, Jim Crow Laws, white only fountains and the KKK were the rule of the day.
Growing up in a family in which 14 kids were born, she knew what poverty really was long before there were welfare checks for black people. A really good Christmas present would be getting an apple and an orange on Christmas morning. As a child, she got an understanding of family reaching back to help family. You see her mother, Louise didn’t always make the best of choices when it came to husbands and she would often be taking care of all these kids, but not alone.
There was an aunt by the name of Lil from North Carolina, who would come home with gifts for the kids and money to help her sister take care of all her children. There was an uncle whose name was Robert who sent home money from the service. Our grandmother and great uncle and great aunt were so close they simply called each other sister and brother as each other’s name.
It was out of the relationship that three kids of Bud and Nancy Fowler shared that we got our understanding of family. Family meant a willingness to reach back to help those who are struggling. No-one understood and learned the meanings of these words more effectively than Jeanell did. The first thought about Jeanell that comes to mind is that she was always there for everybody whenever they needed her.
Jesus who was the Son of God and sent here to save us from the consequences of being disobedient to God, once made the statement. “Greater love has no than this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” I think this verse is the verse that has attached itself to the life of Jeanell. She didn’t mind giving up herself, if it made somebody else a little happier. Even as a child, this was part of Jeanell’s life. It may shock you to know that the family back in the 40’s did not have a Mercedes or even a motorcycle. But there was a speedster in the family with a willing heart.