A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, April 25, at 12:00 PM noon at Trinity Episcopal Church for Martha Lil Parker Graning, 64, of Natchez, who died Saturday, April 21, at her residence, with her family by her side. Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.
Visitation will be from 10:00 AM until service time Wednesday in the Kuehnle Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church.
Lil was born on October 6, 1947 in Natchez, the second of four daughters born to Robert Hicks Parker, Jr. and Juanita Brumfield Parker. She graduated from Natchez High School in the Class of 1965 and attended Mississippi State University where she was initiated into the Chi Omega Fraternity.She was the first female Vice President of a class at Mississippi State University. She continued her studies at East Tennessee State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Psychology and later earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society.
She returned to Natchez, and following her passion for the palliative care of Hospice and family counseling, she established Appletree Hospice and Counseling Associates, a private counseling center.
Lil was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and counselor and served her community in a variety of ways. She was a member of the Pilgrimage Garden Club, served as Sergeant of Arms of the Rotary Club of Natchez, on the Board of Directors of The Sunshine Shelter, and Trinity Episcopal School. Other favorite things included traveling her great country by land with her husband and enjoying life with her wide circle of friends.
Lil was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Edna “Dootsie” Parker Murphy and Paula “Polly” Parker Pugh.
She is survived by her husband, Charles Hugh "Chick" Graning; her daughter, Lil Bramlette Lewis, whose father is David Clay Bramlette; son-in-law, Michael Todd Lewis; her grandchildren, Michael Tucker Lewis and Martha Bramlette Lewis, all of Natchez; her sister Deborah “Debbie” Parker Calandro and husband Blaise of Baton Rouge, LA; her husband’s children, Charles Hugh "Chick" Graning, Jr. of Boston, MA and Gwendolyn Graning Hilla and husband James of Andersonville, TN; sister-in-law, Mina “Sis” Stowers of Natchez; brother-in-law, Alan Ward Graning, Jr. and wife Loretta of Jackson, MS; and a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to Dr. Kenneth Stubbs, Dr. Frederic Billings and Dr. Kenneth Lo, Hospice Compassus team of Ann Cobb, RN and Pat Sims, CNA; and her care givers, Amy, Becky, Marry, and JoAnne, who were steadfast in compassion and care during Lil’s illness.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Day School, 1 Mallan Morgan Drive, Natchez, MS 39120 or a charity of choice.