November 2, 2021, 85, Seven Springs –
Joann Sutton Outlaw, 85, entered into life eternal with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. What we can picture dimly, Joann now sees fully as her faith became sight. Walking side by side with her Master, she joined many loved ones who had gone on before her.
Born on August 21, 1936 in the Bucklesberry community, Joann was the youngest child of the late Finley and Eliza Creech Sutton. Being the ninth child, Joann often joked that the family had run out of names by the time she came along, so she didn’t get a middle name.
The love shared between Joann and her siblings were strong and true. Always invested in each other’s life, they spent all the time together they possibly could. Many excursions were enjoyed as Joann joined with her siblings to travel around town. Tuesdays were made for shopping and Chick-Fil-A with her sisters. Once arriving at Chick-Fil-A, Joann would always prepare by asking Betty Rose, “Bose, you got some lipstick?” Sure enough, the tube would be passed around so that all the girls looked their best before lunch began. The Friday night destination was the Goldsboro Mall and Saturday night’s outing was the Kinston Mall. The women would shop while the men sat on the benches and people watched. A stop on Saturday for a piece of fried chicken at Buddy’s service station was right in line, too. No matter the destination, the best part of the day was the fellowship between them.
Known to be an excellent cook, Joann could prepare just about anything. Her chicken salad and pecan pies were superb, but you had better be precise if she asked you to help her in preparation. She wanted the filling for her pies poured in the crust very carefully to make sure none got on the exposed crust.
Having the ability to be a bit peculiar, Joann liked everything to be done in a specific way. No matter where she was going, she was always exceptionally dressed and matching from head to toe. Her best clothes were always washed inside out, and she never missed her weekly appointment at the beauty shop. Many fond memories surround the time in the beauty shops of Mary, Ella, and Robbie, and her oldest granddaughter always enjoyed “beauty shop day” the best. There, you could hear all the latest gossip, and a trip to Herring’s Grill for lunch always followed. To go along with perfectly placed hair and beautiful attire, the smile on Joann’s face and the twinkle in her eyes completed her look. These were simply a reflection of the spirit within her. Humble, meek, kind, and sincere, she was a true friend to all she met, and her love for family knew no limits.
Joann’s life with her husband, Joe, was perfect. After she lost her sight, you hardly ever saw one without the other. Joann said that she was his ears and he was her eyes; the two complete each other. Their son, Roy, held a special place in his mama’s heart and was her whole life after the death of Joe. When grandchildren came along, Roy shared the spotlight with his two girls. Joann and Joe would pick Chelsea up from school, always rewarding her with a stop at D.M. Price’s store for a 3 Musketeers and a little bottle of Coke for a good day at school. Even if the girls did get in trouble, Joann would ease things up by saying to Joe, “wait and spank them when you’re not mad anymore.”
As much as Joann adored being Granny to her grandchildren, nothing compared to her great-granddaughter, Gracelyn. To Joann, she could do no wrong, and every chance to spoil her was taken. For her, Christmas gifts began early and it seemed as if she received one every day in December up until Christmas. Joann’s role as Granny was one of her dearests, and she truly believed Gracelyn was a gift from God to help them get through the death of her son, Roy.
As the matriarch of her family, Joann ensured a close relationship between all of them. She looked forward to eating together at least once a week and was always ready to go when they called. Whether her daughter-in-law, Donna, or one of the grandkids called, her response was always, “Let me get my shoes on.” By the time they arrived, she’d be sitting on the porch waiting. Although her sight was lacking, her ability to give directions was superb. If one of her crowd was hard to find, all you had to do was call Granny. She always knew where you could be found. With an infinite memory, she ensured that everyone knew where to be and what time to be there. So exceptional in her job as the keeper of everyone, she was named the “Mayor” of Spring Creek corner on her eightieth birthday by her neighbors and friends, Dave and Jean White.
Neighbors can become dear friends through the years, as was seen in the relationship between Jean and Joann. For 31 years, they lived right down the road from each other, and would talk on the phone nearly every night. Known as “Margaret” to Jean, Joann was the recipient of many delicacies lovingly prepared for her by Jean. As the “sister Roy never had”, Jean was precious to Joann.
A service of love and remembrance will be held at Seven Springs Baptist Church on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Rick Rigney officiation. Committal will follow in Fairview Cemetery, La Grange.
In addition to her parents, Joann was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Outlaw; son, Roy Outlaw; and her siblings, Johnnie Sutton, Albert Sutton, Parrott Sutton, Kay Sutton, Mary Hardy, Huldah McLawhorn, Martha Hardy, and Betty Rose Herring.
Joann is survived by her devoted daughter-in-law, Donna Outlaw; grandchildren, Chelsea Outlaw Mercer and Courtney Outlaw and husband, Dillon; great-granddaughter, Gracelyn Mercer; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Sutton and Quin Outlaw; special friend and neighbor, Jean White; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends for a time of visitation on Friday, November 5, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Rouse Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Seven Springs Baptist Church Baptist Women, PO Box 55, Seven Springs, NC 28578. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.