Delma Jean “Big Nanny” Autrey, age 76, of Sylva, N.C., went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 26, 2020, surrounded by her loving family.
She was the wife of the late Calvin Autrey and the daughter of the late John Lewis and Margaret Magdalene Aiken.
She was also preceded in death by three brothers, J.D. Aiken, Lewis Aiken and Cecil Aiken; three sisters; Dorothy Russell, Doris Coggins and Darlene Johnson.
She is survived by three children; Pam (Mickey) Bumgarner, Calvin (Kathy) Autrey Jr., and Patty (Steve) Shuler, all of Sylva; one brother, Odell Aiken (Nina) of Sapphire; one sister-in-law, June Aiken of Cashiers; six grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and lots of nieces and nephews as well as great-nieces and great-nephews also survive.
Big Nanny was Mom to three and Nanny Autrey to too many people to count. Her house was always full. It was your own fault if you left Nanny’s house sad or hungry.
Delma was a cook by profession, The Jarrett House being her last job.
She was a Member of Cashiers Baptist Church.
A celebration of her life will be held in the parking lot of Hamburg Baptist Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2, 2020. She will be laid to rest between her parents in Hamburg Cemetery with the Revs. Johnny Norris, Tommy Madden and Don Coggins officiating.
The following was Nanny’s favorite poem. She has kept this for 56 years.
“How will I be remembered?”
What will they say about me
Those whom I hold so dear?
What will they best remember
When I’m no longer here?
Will they recall mistakes I’ve made
Battles I never won?
Moments of pain I’ve cause them
Things I have left undone?
Will they sensor my human feelings
And wish I’d been noble and strong?
Will they scoff at the hopes I nurtured
The dreams that somehow went wrong?
Or will they be moved by compassion
Directed from Heaven above
To temper their judgment with kindness
And soften their memories with Love.
By Alice E. Chase