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Dewatha Mae Greathouse

• Updated Jun 12, 2019 at 8:16 AM

Dewatha Mae Greathouse, affectionately called Dee, Momma, Granny, Aunt Dee Dee and Mother Greathouse, was the youngest of two children born July 4, 1918 in Johnson City, Tennessee to the late Roland and Ollie Mae (Wilson) Guess.

Being blessed to live 100 years and 11 months, she passed away peacefully at home June 1, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. Dewatha graduated from Langston High School and was a faithful member of Thankful Baptist Church in Johnson City, Tennessee, of which her grandfather, the late Rev. A. H. Wilson, was the pastor. Dewatha worked in the Sunday School and sang in the choir. She loved music and as a young teenager took harp lessons. She was united in marriage to the late Eugene Bradley. To this union one son, Henry Patrick was born. After the passing of Eugene, she later met and married Collis Greathouse and they relocated to Waukegan, Illinois. To this union, one daughter, Celester Mae, was born. Shortly after moving to Waukegan, Dewatha worked as a housekeeper along the north shore, or “down the line” as it was often referred to. She later accepted a position as a teacher’s aide at Gertrude M. Carmen Elementary School providing loving support to many children from kindergarten to third grade. She would retire from this position after 11 years of service. Dewatha was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church under the direction of the late Rev. J. N. Lightfoot but later moved her membership to Mount Sinai Institutional Baptist Church under the care of the late Rev. W. D. Kilgore to worship with her husband. As a faithful member of Mt. Sinai, she served as a Sunday School Teacher in the Children’s Division, a nurse on the Nurse’s Guild, a Vacation Bible School Teacher and the Senior Mission. Her favorite hobby was sewing, as she made many of her own clothes of which she was very proud of; so when the Sinite Choir was first formed, she used her self-taught talent of sewing to help make some of the first robes worn by the young choir members. Many know her for her fried chicken and prune cake that she cooked every Thanksgiving and Christmas for family and friends. She even baked cookies for her daughter and her college friends “care packages” while they attended Illinois State University. Having been blessed with more than 100 years of life, Dewatha witnessed many major events in history, but the ones that brought the most joy to her life was the birth of children and her grandchildren along with receiving a personalized 80th birthday card from former President William J. Clinton, the election of the first African American president – President Barack H. Obama and being presented a resolution honoring her 100th birthday from the first African American Mayor of the City of Waukegan, Sam Cunningham and members of the city council.

Mother Greathouse leaves to cherish her memories her loving daughter, Celester Mae (Willie) Rodney of, Waukegan, IL, nine grandchildren: Gregory White of Bristol, TN, Gwann (Gail) White of Norfolk, VA, Selena, and Gail Bradley of Chicago, IL Banina (Tyrone) Tillery and Degina Bradley of Bloomington, IL, DeAndre and LaTeia Jones of Chicago, IL and Jonathan Rodney of Waukegan, IL; sixteen great-grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and dear friends, the Mt. Sinai Church Family and the Shalem Seventh-day Adventist Church Family. She is preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, sister, first husband Eugene Bradley, son Henry P. Bradley, a great-grandson, four sister-in-law's, two brother-in-law’s, a niece and her husband of 48 years, Collis Greathouse.

Mother Greathouse was a very loving Christian woman who was loved by many and now rests until Jesus returns. While she has left this earthly life, she will not be forgotten.

Services were held June 7,2019 at Mt. Sinai Institutional Baptist Church, 2401 Argonne Dr, North Chicago, IL 60064, Pastor Gerald Wilcoxon, officiated.

Memories and Condolences to the family may be shared at Bradshaw & Range Funeral Home PC : Waukegan, Illinois (IL)

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