Funeral service for Mrs. Ann Gardner Eady, age 89, of Fayetteville, TN, will be conducted Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 11 a.m. at The Rock church with Rev. Elmore Torbert officiating. Burial will follow in Gardner Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Friday, December 9, 2016 from 5 until 8 p.m. at Higgins Funeral Home. Mrs. Eady passed away Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at Donalson Care Center.
Ann Beatrice Gardner Eady was born in Lincoln County, the second of seven children to the late Claude S. Gardner and the former Lorean Rowe. Her family owned and operated a farm in the Blanche Community, and put in long hours working on the farm as a major source of income and subsistence. Her father was employed as the principal and teacher at the Blanche school, a “separate but equal” first through eighth grade facility, where she received her formal elementary education. Her mother was a homemaker, who had little formal education, but spent countless hours alongside her husband teaching Ann and her siblings there was no “free lunch,” so life skills and ideals of hard work were practiced and developed to enable them to function as good citizens and contributing members of the community.
Both church and school were attended regularly, and there were no excuses good enough to miss a day of either. Attending hugh school presented additional challenges as the nearest high school for person of color was in Fayetteville, and a different lifestyle would be required. Ann was fortunate to be able to “board” in Fayetteville with a very loving but firm lady, Mrs. Ida Riggs, and it was in this supportive environment that she not only completed high school at the age of 17, but was the Salutatorian of her graduating class.
With the support and encouragement of her family, and teacher, Ann went on the attend Tennessee A & I in Nashville, TN and majored in Home Economics and Education. By the time she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree, Tennessee A & I had become Tennessee State University. Equipped with certifications in several subject areas which included all elementary subjects, and secondary subjects including General Science, Chemistry, Biology, English, and Home Economics, Ann returned to Lincoln County and began teaching in the school system here. Early in her career, she returned to college and received endorsements in administration and leadership and served for 5 years as principal of Blanche School, and 1 year as principal of Petersburg School. She was able to return to her chosen field, teaching home economics at West End High School until the school systems were merged through integration and she was placed at Central High School. While at Central, she wrote Lincoln County’s original curriculum for occupational home economics which included food preparation, clothing, and child care. She was granted an annex at the West End High building with a state of the art lab in which to teach. Students were bused in from all county high schools to take part in her program. This program was eventually moved to the Central High School campus, and instead of continuing as a classroom teacher, Mrs. Eady was promoted to administration as Dean of Women and Guidance Counselor. Over the years, as she continued her education, she earned a Masters Degree in Education plus 45 additional credit hours, and attended Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL; University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN; Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN; and Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, TN. She earned the coveted Career Ladder Level 3 teacher classification which placed her in an elite group of educators-the best of the best. She completed her 43 year teaching career as a Guidance Counselor at Lincoln County High School.
Although Ann was very busy with her career and furthering her education, she did find time for a family. She met and married Robert M. Eady, who had launched a career in the US Army. Robert was dedicated, driven, and was very successful in the Army, attaining the highest non-commissioned officer rank of Command Sergeant Major. They worked well together and built a good life. They had two children, Frederick and Stephanie, whom they raised stressing the importance of education, life skills, hard work, and excellence. Regrettably, CSM Robert M. Eady passed away in 2007. Presently, Frederick is a retired IBM Engineer who resides in Florida with his wife Cindy, their children and grandchildren. Stephanie is a Registered Dietitian employed as the school nutrition program supervisor for Lincoln County Schools. She lives here in Fayetteville with husband Thuston, children and grandchildren.
Mrs. Eady felt it was very important to be active in the activities of her children, so she served as a den mother when Frederick was involved in Boy Scouts, and as an officer for the local PTA when Stephanie was in elementary school. She was a much sought-after member and served on numerous committees and task forces over the years. She has been active in professional organizations, holding memberships in national, state, and local education associations, and serving a term as treasurer of the Middle TN Home Economics Association. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional women’s organization, as a member of the Lincoln County Fair Association, she served many years as its Secretary/Treasurer. She also served on the Fayetteville/Lincoln County Fair Recreation Board for several years. She was also a charter member of Alabama A&M University’s graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Mrs. Eady was always active in church activities, and charied many committees and held many leadership positions including Superintendent of Sunday School, Church Treasurer, and Church Trustee.
Mrs. Eady was a person who enjoyed being a part of this community and working with others toward improvement and continuous growth.
She leaves to cherish her memories and mourn her passing her son Frederick (Cindy) Eady of Merritt Island, Florida, her daughter, Stephanie Eady (Thuston) Britt of Fayetteville, Tennessee; Grandchildren Aaron R. Eady, Michael Erin Eady, Melissa A. Eady of Cocoa Beach, Florida and Kimberly N. Eady of Melbourne, Florida, AnToney F. Mastin and Lauren C. Mastin both of Fayetteville, Tennessee and Jeremy Woods of Atlanta, Georgia and Katie Woods of Atlanta, Georgia; great grandchildren Terius (Ty), Kayla, Kendreon, Jordan, Alana, Azharia and Akera; brother in law Stokely (Deborah) Gardner of Austin, Texas; sisters in law Faye Stewart of Nashville, Tennessee and Margaret Gardner of Huntsville, Alabama, special friends Mary B. McDonald, Shirley Dangerfield, Jinson Knott; extra special niece, Dr. Takasha Hubbard Stewart, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.