Sue Lemaster was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a friend, a mentor and the list really goes on and on.
Of all her roles in the lives of many, it’s safe to say that everyone would agree her best known role wasas Memaw [Meh-Maw]. Family members vividly remember spending a week with Memaw as a young boy and being amazed at how many different people would come over just to sit and chat throughout a day or week. Memaw was truly loved and she genuinely loved back. She was spunky, witty, quick on her feet and definitely never afraid to tell you how she felt even if you weren’t going to like what she had to say. She didn’t care if you didn’t like it because what she had to say came from a place of conviction and love. She always loved you enough to tell you the hard things no matter who you were or how mad or upset she knew it would make you.
She had no prejudice and she always loved equally. It never mattered who it was that walked through that front screen door, her face would light up with excitement as she would grin from ear to ear because someone else had come to visit her. She was a child at heart and never turned down an opportunity to play rummy, dominoes or the family made game, marbles. Family members would literally sit for hours, with a Braves game on in the background, and play rummy. She would change the rules and deal more cards just because it made children in the game happy. She would purposely get up to do something in the kitchen so the kids would have just long enough to set the deck in their favor. Of course, back then, they kids thought they were slick and just quick enough – but they weren’t.
We can still hear that sweet country voice saying, “Now how’d you do that?!” when a young relative would magically have all the wild cards and lay them down for a million points at the beginning of a hand. We would giggle and say, “You dealt em to me Memaw,” and then she would blush and laugh as she always did.
Memaw was always fun to laugh with. She would get so tickled she would bounce up and down while she laughed. Her laugh would permeate through the house in a way that just felt like love. We’ll never forget making her mad just long enough to grab the flyswatter by the refrigerator and come stand behind the chair in the living room saying, “Now I’m gonna whoop you if you don’t mind me,” as she would wave that flyswatter in the air. And then we would look at her and grin and she would start laughing before she could ever get all the words out of her mouth.
Though Memaw wasn’t always herself these last few years, we would still catch glimpses of my childhood hero when she would come and stay with us for a week or two.
It didn’t matter if she called me Jody, Michael, Chris or Seth before she ever finally got to me, I always knew that she loved me with everything she had in her and she wanted nothing but the absolute best for me. Even as her memory faded, I could tell her, “Memaw, I love you,” and it didn’t matter what she was doing she would stop, look at me eye to eye and say, “And I love you,” with all the seriousness in the world.
We all just feel little, broken and crying and we want our Memaw back.
As broken as we are, we find joy knowing that Memaw knew this man named Jesus. We talked about him often. She knew she wasn’t perfect and she knew He didn’t care. He loved her for who she was and gave His life for this very moment so that as she left this world she would be able to pass from life to life, receiving a new mind and a new body that are both completely restored and healed.
Memaw, we love you with everything that’s in us! Don’t worry about us, we’ll be alright! We’ll see ya soon, Memaw!! – written by grandson James Griffith.
Ms. Lemaster is survived by her children, Susan (Joe) Helton, Cathy (Walter) Griffith and Michael Lemaster; grandchildren, Jody (Loura) Lemaster, Chris (Jody) Lemaster, Lindsey (Kevin) Perry, Ashley (Chris) Hood and James (Tiffany) Griffith; great grandchildren, Bryant Lemaster, Austin Lemaster, Ila Lemaster, Payton Perry, Cooper Hood and Adilynn Hood; and a great-great grandchild, Cora Lemaster.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Audie Ozette Hayes; and sisters, Doris Hayes, Ruth Fleming and Sara Nell Parris.
Graveside service for Ms. Lemaster were at Sweet Home Cemetery on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Arab Heritage Memorial Chapel assisted the family.
Pallbearers were Chris Lemaster, James Griffith, Chris Hood, Walter Griffith, Joe Helton & Seth Weaver.