Julia Goodman Puryear, beloved mother, grandmother and friend, passed away peacefully at the age of 90 on December 5, 2016, in Hazlehurst, where she’d lived for the last 64 years.
Visitation will be held Friday, December 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Gathering Room, and a memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. Memorial gifts may be made to HUMC Outreach, Children and Youth Ministries, the Music Ministry or the Building Fund.
Julia was born on August 7, 1926, to William and Marguerite Goodman in Jackson, Mississippi. She graduated from Central High School and Millsaps College. As a student at Millsaps, she met the love of her life, Lamar Puryear Jr. of Raymond.
They married on March 13, 1947, and settled in Hazlehurst in 1952, where he practiced medicine. Julia had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mother, and together they reared three children.
Julia’s home was a happy one, and it was often filled with family and friends. There was an unending supply of ice cream sandwiches, orange sherbet push-ups, glass-bottle Coca-Colas and sweet tea. For most of her life, she prepared lunch for her family every Sunday afternoon without fail, where her children and grandchildren would talk, laugh, watch movies and play cards for hours on end.
She was affectionately known as “Ju-Ju,” and it could easily be said that she helped raise many of the kids in Hazlehurst. She was a mother and grandmother not only to her children and grandchildren, but to their friends as well.
Julia was a devoted member of the Hazlehurst United Methodist Church since 1952, where she taught Sunday School for a number of years and served on the Church Council and various other committees, including Outreach and Pastor Parish. The two most important things in her life were her church and her family.
Julia also served on the Hazlehurst Youth Center Board and the Y-Teen State Board, and she was a Girl Scout leader.
Julia was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her infant daughter, Cynthia Watkins Puryear. She is survived by her three children, Carol Ford (Frank), Linda Rainer (Mike), and Lamar Puryear (Shelia), and eight grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, Jason Ford (Miranda), Emily Hayes (Derek), Shelby Ford, Allen Wood (Keri), Julie Wood, Erin Cogswell (Joshua), Leah Puryear, Lamar Puryear IV, Chase Rainer (Casey) and Chelsea Ruez (Brandon).
Julia lived to see and love 14 great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren: Kylie Page, Trey Wood, Abby Wood, Avah Parker, Ryleigh Ford, Addison Parker, Reece Hayes, Ford Hayes, Kaylin Puryear, Owen Cogswell, John Rowan Dearing, Violet Dearing, EJ Rainer and Cullen Rainer.
She is also survived by her brother, William Flournoy Goodman of Jackson, five nieces and one nephew.