Laura Elizabeth Boswell Winfrey, age 85, resident of Somerville and wife of the late Whitson Wilkinson “Whit” Winfrey, Sr., departed this life Friday, September 13, 2019 at St. Francis Hospital Bartlett after a brief stay.
Funeral services for Mrs. Winfrey were held at 11 A.M. Tuesday, September 17, 2019 with Reverend Mike Krech officiating. Interment followed in the Somerville City Cemetery.
Laura Elizabeth was born August 29, 1934 in Moscow, Tennessee, the only child of the late Lillian Pulliam Boswell and Everett Myers Boswell. As a girl she enjoyed riding her puddle jumper with friends, swimming in the Wolf River and spending younger years in Rossville with grandparents, cousins and horses. She attended Moscow Elementary and graduated from Fayette County High School where she played basketball, was cheerleader captain and homecoming queen. Laura attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree at Memphis State University. On June 27, 1954 she married her high school sweetheart Whitson Wilkinson “Whit” Winfrey, Sr. who preceded her in death on April 25, 2015. After they married, Laura Elizabeth and Whit moved to Abilene, Texas where Whit ranched and showed prize Hereford cattle on the Hardy Grissom Ranch.
They later returned to Fayette County where Laura was a teacher at Moscow Elementary, Fayette County High School and Memphis City Schools System for 38 years where she taught girls health, physical education, history, drivers’ education and motorcycle safety. Mrs. Winfrey was an energetic, devoted teacher who loved her students and teaching. She was a member of Oak Grove United Methodist Church north of Somerville. Laura loved her family, friends and all the family activities with boating and camping at Pickwick and Florida, riding motorcycles, researching family genealogy, and traveling with the family’s competition Memphis in May Sweathog Social Club barbeque cooking team.
Mrs. Winfrey is survived by her daughter, Laura Lillian Winfrey of Somerville, TN; two sons, Whitson Wilkinson Winfrey, Jr. and wife, Donna of Germantown, TN, Hunter Boswell Winfrey and his wife, Madeline of Somerville, TN; two grandsons, Adam Whitson Winfrey of Memphis, TN and Brandon Boyd Winfrey of Los Angeles, CA; niece, Amy Love Doyal and husband, Craig of Montgomery, TX; and two first cousins, David Pulliam and wife, Novalyn of Somerville, TN and Anita Boswell McGinley and husband, Thomas of Cordova, TN.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers were Adam Winfrey, Brandon Winfrey, Dr. Robert Winfrey, Rob Winfrey, Doug Simpson, Trace Barnett and Randy Wright.
The family requests that memorials be directed to American Cancer Society, c/o Christine Parks, 402 Midland Street, Somerville, TN 38068, https://www.cancer.org, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959, https://www.stjude.org, or LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 41817, Memphis, TN 38174, https://www.lebonheur.org.
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