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Nov. 24,1915-Feb. 19, 2007

MOUNT OLIVE -- It was on Monday evening, February 19, 2007, that Mrs. Dessie Lea Taylor Summerlin left the loving embrace of her family to behold the presence of her Lord and Savior. While it is with profound sadness that her family mourns her leaving, they also rejoice with the knowledge that she has been reunited with her many precious loved ones who had gone on before. Mrs. Dessie, 91, was a resident of 407 Washboard Avenue, Mount Olive -- the place she had called home since January of 1938.

A native of the Pleasant Hill section of Jones County, it was in her Grandpa's log cabin that she was born on November 24, 1915. In growing up, she, along with her family, lived in many places due to her Papa's job of driving logging trains.

At the age of 19, she married Oswin Summerlin and they set up housekeeping in the home shared by his parents. Three children were born, namely John Ivey, Willie Ray, known as Bill, and then their daughter, Sallie Ruth.

Mrs. Dessie was a homemaker and was the community seamstress who had superior dress-making and alteration skills. She also farmed alongside her husband. Many days were spent tending to his ailing mother, then her mother, then Oswin, and later, her beloved daughter-in-law, as they each faced illnesses that would require special and undivided care. Her life was totally devoted to the service of others, whether it be her own family or any of her many kind friends and neighbors.

She was a long-time member of Alum Springs Missionary Baptist Church where she quietly and reverently worshipped her Lord, while serving Him each day that she lived. At the time of her death, she was the church's oldest living member. It was on the occasion of her 85th birthday that she was honored by the church as they proclaimed "Dessie Summerlin Day" where her life was celebrated by friends and family.

While she had a life enriched by many blessings, she also endured many hardships from which she never complained or questioned. Her unyielding faith and determination, an inspiration to all who knew her, allowed her to always pick up and go forward to face whatever else might come her way.

Her only brother, Leroy Ashford Taylor, died in 1970, and in 1971, her father, Ashley Dudley Taylor, which she called Papa, died. Her mother, Lucy Jane Whaley Taylor died in 1984, and two months later, so did her beloved Oswin. All three of her children also met untimely deaths. Eldest son, John Ivey, died in 1965; twelve years later in 1977, her daughter, Sallie Ruth, also passed away, and then, another twelve years later in 1989, her second son, Willie Ray died. It was in 1997 that his wife, Betty Herring Summerlin, also died. She and her mother-in-law had shared a very special and unique bond known to few mothers-in-law/daughters-in-law.

As the matriarch of the Summerlin family, Mrs. Dessie is survived by the family that she loved and who loved her so much: her three grandsons and their wives, Dwayne and Barbara Gail Summerlin, Johnny and Alice Summerlin, and Todd and Brandy Summerlin, all of Mount Olive, and five great-grandchildren, Noah Braswell Summerlin, Betty Caroline Summerlin, Anna Grace Summerlin, Catherine Leanne Summerlin, and Laura Allison Summerlin, all also of Mount Olive.

"She stitched us together with love!"

A celebration of Mrs. Dessie's life will be at 7 p.m. this evening, Wednesday, February 21, at Tyndall Funeral Home with the Rev. Shelton Justice and the Rev. Paul Rose officiating, after which her family will receive friends. At other times they will be at the residence at 407 Washboard Avenue. Committal and interment will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 22, at Oak Ridge Memorial Park, Pink Hill, where her remains will be laid to rest with those of her departed family.

Dessie T. Summerlin

"....absent from the body.....present with the Lord"

A Tyndall Service.

(Written & Paid by the Family)

Published in Obituaries on February 21, 2007 1:55 PM