Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Coxburg Cemetery - Ralph Ernest Netherland and Rosa Mae Pettus
Ralph Ernest Netherland was one of the nine children born to William Bailey Neatherland and Martha Elizabeth Garrard Neatherland. Their grave stone was pictured in my post yesterday. Ralph was born on February 1, 1886 in Holmes County, Mississippi. He married my grandmother, Rosa Mae Pettus, whose grave stone is pictured below, when he was 39 years old and she was barely 17. My mother was born a year later, and four and one half years after she was born, Rosa Mae and Ralph Netherland and a son. I know very little about my grandparents' life together, except that their marriage was not an enduring one, and they were divorced when my mother was about 14 years old. Several years later, my grandmother married again, this time to Frank B. Parsons, Sr., a widower, whom I knew as a child as "Pa Frank." Mr. Parsons died a few years later, and was buried in the cemetery near Coxburg Baptist Church, next to his first wife.
Born on August 28, 1908 in Holmes County, Mississippi, Rosa Mae Pettus was the daughter of William Elza Pettus and Lucy Lula Trigleth. As a young woman, "Grandma," as she was later called by her grandchildren, worked as a visiting nurse in the Lexington, Mississippi area, near Coxburg and Ebenezer, where she had grown up. Grandma moved from Ebenezer to Jackson after Mr. Parsons died, and worked at St. Dominic's Hospital until she retired in the early 1970's. After retirement, Grandma sold her house in Jackson and moved back to Holmes County, where she lived until she died unexpectedly on January 4, 1986. As far as our family could determine, Grandma had driven home from church on Sunday, and apparently went inside, sat down in her easy chair and removed her shoes to rest for a few minutes, possibly to take a short nap. And it was in that chair that she died, just a little over seven months before her 78th birthday.
Rosa Mae Pettus Netherland Parsons was buried in Coxburg Cemetery, next to her first husband, Ralph Ernest Netherland. Buried nearby are many deceased members of the Pettus and Neatherland/Netherland families. I know that her children made the final decision about Grandma's burial location, but I have often wondered if this was her choice, as well.