Zella Lee (Simrell) Sawyer, 92, of El Dorado Springs, passed away April 30, 2018, in Community Springs Healthcare. Zella was born Jan. 8, 1926, in Birdsong, near Stockton, the daughter of Franklin and Ruby Flo (Morlan) Simrell.
Zella grew up in the Amity Community, graduated the 8th grade from Amity School and from Stockton High School in 1943. She worked at Hammons Walnut Factory as a bookkeeper. She and her fellow employees from 1951 are in one of the pictures on display at the Hammons Black Walnut Emporium on the Square in Stockton.
She was saved then baptized at a young age when joined Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church. She later moved her membership to Caplinger Mills Baptist Church, where she was a faithful member and attended the rest of her life until her health prevented her attendance. She had a strong faith in God and He was her strength in times of sickness and hardships throughout her life.
She married Billy Dean Sawyer on Aug. 26, 1948. They soon moved to the farm where they lived until his death in 1992. They raised four children there and she was a farmer’s wife and partner. She milked cows, always had chickens, grew a large vegetable garden and canned for the winter. She worked in the fields – disking, planting, mowing, raking, combining fescue, hauling hay or picking up rocks. When she moved to town, in 1993, it was the first time she didn’t have chickens to feed or eggs to gather.
She loved helping those less fortunate and always had a kind word and a heart full of love for everyone. She was a very giving person with a gentle soul. She was dearly loved by her family and friends and will be sorely missed.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Billy; her parents; her daughter, Sharon Lee Keeton; and two sisters, Veda Simrell and Neva Worthington Rust.
Survivors include three children – Kallie Dean Hopkins of Ozark; and Jerry Dale Sawyer and Mary Donna Wisner and her husband, Robert, of El Dorado Springs; three grandchildren; four great – grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
She lived the last 10 years of her life at Community Springs and the family wants to thank all of her caregivers for the love and support they have provided.
Services were held Sunday, May 6, in Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home with Rev. James Coleman officiating. Burial was in Shady Grove Cemetery near Fair Play under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Jerry Evans Jr., Richard Rose, James Marsten, Amor Worthington, Charley Sawyer and Dwight Sawyer. Honorary pallbearers were Junior Sawyer and Glenn Keeton.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and left at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be left at www.blandhackleman.com.