Mrs. Opal Fay Gatlin (Lowry), passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family and friends, on November 4, 2016, in Manchester, Tennessee at the age of 102 after an extended illness.
Opal Fay is preceded in death by her parents Samuel Frank Lowry and Minerva Crosby Lowry, eight siblings~ brothers: Cecil Lowry, Hubert Lowry, Loy Lowry, her twin brother Ray Lowry, and Dewey Lowry~ sisters: Dollie and Sadie Joe, Opal Fay survived a parents worst nightmare with three out of four of her beautiful children’s death: Sundra Ann Gatlin, Carline (Frank) Lee, and Jerry Malcolm Gatlin. Very importantly she is preceded in death by her loving husband Carl Elmer Gatlin whom she married in Oct. of 1933 until his passing from this earth in 1986.
Opal Fay is survived by a daughter Sharrell (Bill) Buchanan of Manchester, TN. And a sister Nerva Jewel of Lubbock, TX. This is the time to list the numerous family that Opal was the glue that held us all together. It is a long list, but we hope to name each individual due to the love that each one shared with her throughout her extremely long and beautiful life. Opal has eight Grandchildren: Terri (Grady) Rutledge, Tony Lee Buchanan, Janet (Mike) Cummings, Dorothy Lee, Christopher (Katy) Gatlin, Shane (Susan) Gatlin, Crystal (Adam) Priddy, Jeremy Gatlin. One very special niece Dorenda (Jimmy) Doyle. Nine special Great-Grandchildren: Amber Denise (Travis) Reed, Jody Richey, Joseph (Amanda) Richey, Justin (Gabriella) Richey, Adam Noles, Cody Noles, Matthew Gatlin, Ryan (Samantha) Gatlin, Chase Gatlin, Sophia Priddy, and Lillie Priddy. Most families are lucky enough to carry a four generation line, but Opal was determined to outdo the “most” and she went on to have a fifth generation of Great-Great Grandchildren that knew and loved her. Opal had seven Great-Great Grandchildren: Madison Richey, Chancelor Richey, Jaden Faye Rankin, Logan Noles, Violet Gatlin, Clark Richey, and lastly Maxwell Gatlin. Opal also wanted to mention the hosts of other nieces, nephews, friends and her family would like to thank her special friend Charlotte Christian and Special Caregivers throughout the last few years of her extraordinary life: Winilee, Rhinda, Jennifer, Tina, and Theresa for their dedication and love they showed Opal.
Opal Fay Gatlin was born on September 9, 1914 in McQueens, Oklahoma with her twin brother Ray and they always stuck together as a team with Opal usually being deemed the protector of her sweet Ray. If any of you remember her or ever had the opportunity to sit down with an extremely STRONG cup of coffee and listen to her stories, you will hear the love she had for each of her siblings, her four children and her husband Carl. Carl Gatlin began the Gatlin Floor Company in Fayetteville, Tennessee. And the business was taken over after his death by their son Jerry Gatlin of Fayetteville, TN. Opal Fay was a strong woman, stubborn at times, but she was very dedicated to the ones she loved. She held many jobs throughout her 102 years of life, she was a saleswoman, ran a nursery, kept up the farm they had in Taft, Tennessee, always a helping hand to her husband and after his passing she became the support system for her children and family. She lived her life on the farm and there was not a thing she wouldn’t tackle on her own. Opal could play a mean hand of “Rook” and loved spending time with any guest that announced their arrival prior to showing up unexpectedly. She was a firecracker and had more spunk than most younger than her. For those that knew her, you know how much she will be missed in this life but also know that she believed truly where she was going after her 102 wonderful years was to Heaven. She loved the Lord, and spoke of going home to see all her loved ones that passed on before her. She was a member of the Church of Christ.
Opal’s visitation is scheduled for Monday, November 7, 2016 from 5 until 8 p.m., at Higgins Funeral Home, Fayetteville, Tennessee. Her funeral will be conducted Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Higgins Funeral Home with Jerry Lynn Gatlin and grandson Christopher Gatlin officiating. She will be buried next to her husband at the Blanche Cemetery.
Pallbearers: Tony Buchanan, Shane Gatlin, Jeremy Gatlin, Adam Noles, Ryan Gatlin, and Travis Reed