|Birth: ||Apr. 10, 1914|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Oct. 20, 2006|
North Carolina, USA
Velma Roper Grant
Velma was born in the Burningtown Section of Macon County, NC to Raleigh Judson Roper and Catherine J. Dills Roper. Her family loved to sing; her grandfather, Charlie Richardson Roper, had a singing school at Burningtown and also a quartet called the Roper Family Quartet.
Velma did not have a middle name; I know this first hand from talking to her (she's my Grandmother). Sometimes her sons would tease her and make up a middle name for her but she did not have a middle name. I remember several times looking over her detailed family Bible record which had all her siblings names and their spouses and asking, "Grandmother what is yours and Aunt Thelma's middle names?" She would answer, "Mother didn't give us a middle name, she said two girls names were enough to come up with at one time." This was back in the early 80s when her mind was very sharp. I verified it more recently with her daughters and sons (2013) after seeing some researchers putting "Vinah" which is wrong. They all said, "Mother didn't have a middle name." I hope this helps some of you who are copying wrong research.
Velma had a twin sister, Thelma, whom she was very close with. You can click on her parents' links from this page for more info about her family other siblings.
She was born in Burningtown, NC and her family lived near the top of Winding Stairs Road when she was very young. She eloped to Stark County, OH when she married Jesse James Grant, the son of John Wesley "Johnny" Grant and Nancy Elvira Franklin Grant. He was born on Bee Branch on Silvermine, Nantahala Township, Swain Co., NC. They were married in about 1931 or 1932. I was in Canton, OH and could not find a wedding certificate there for them. I was told that sometimes pastors failed to turn in the records in that day and age. Shortly after their first baby was born, within a month, they had moved to the neighboring county and lived in Bolivar, Tuscarawas (I will double check spelling, ha), OH. Joan Barbara, their first daughter, was born premature and her lungs were not developed properly. I do not know why they picked Bolivar. Oldest son Jesse Mitchell Grant ("Bud") has told me perhaps Jesse worked as a coal miner there. I will try to research that. I did see there was a dam in Bolivar and between the cemetery where Joan was buried and Bolivar it was a good 15 minute drive through a flood zone/ perhaps Jesse worked on the dam there (?) all speculation.
Velma said it was a snowy and cold day when they buried their baby girl, it was in March. The area is about an hour from Lake Erie. Velma told me she very much disliked Ohio that it was an awful place and I can imagine what a sad time for a newly wed couple being far from family and home and burying their baby daughter. Joan's death certificate said the name of the town where they lived, Bolivar, which is very flat. We spoke with a locall historian we met at the cemetery and she said there are 19 cemeteries int the area. The one they picked (see Joan's memorial) was in a beautiful hilly area which so much looked like NC mountains.
They moved back to Silvermine community in the Nantahala township, Swain County, NC shortly after that. They were home again.
With Jesse working for the Civilian Conservation Corps, they would from time to time leave "home" while he worked on bridges or dams. At one time they were living in Judson, NC also. This was before Fontana Dam was built; Jesse was a cement mixer on that Dam. Later Jesse was called to preach and sometimes he would pastor a church in another state too so the family lived in Hood River, OR for about 4 years and in Sevierville, TN. They lived in Rutherford Co, NC also and High Point area of NC. Velma said no matter where life took them, God always brought them "Home to the mountains again."
Grandmother used older mountain words also and putting "h" in front of vowel sounds "hit" for "it" for example; this is pure Anglo-Saxon English from the 16th Century, that is what one of her daughter's college professors told the daughter. She called people from outside the mountains flatlanders (just as we still do!) and called people from outside NC "foreigners" but people from another country were called "outlanders").
She loved her family, loved the Lord, and loved the mountains. She also loved to sing and passed that love of singing on down to her children. She also loved quilting and her favorite pattern was "Trip Around the World." She made some 9 square pattern quilts and some "magazine quilts" using the page of a magazine to keep the shape of pieces. She enjoyed gardening, both flower gardening and vegetable gardening. She knew how to crochet and made some beautiful rag rugs. She was a good cook and also did a lot of canning. Her favorite color was pink and her favorite flower were roses. Many of her grandchildren have memories of "heading up to Grandmother's" after church to eat together. She always wore her apron cooking and working in the house and garden. She had the type of apron which had a top part on it also.
Her daughter Evelyn is an excellent seamstress and made most of her dresses and her aprons. She always had a quilt frame hanging up in her living room which could be raised and lowered from the ceiling. Her sons, sons-in-law, grandsons and other men would come in and hang their caps on the corners of that frame.
Her life song was a hymn about lightening others loads; "A BEAUTIFUL LIFE," she always said, "This is my song!" The second and third verses about sums it up:
"To be a child of God each day,
My light must shine along the way;
I'll sing His praise while ages roll,
And strive to help some troubled soul.
The only life that will endure,
Is one that's kind and good and pure;
And so for God I'll take my stand,
Each day I'll lend a helping hand."
She was a pastor's wife, a mother and grandmother and great-grandmother, she is well loved and much missed. She knew the Lord Jesus and would boldly tell how He saved her; if you know Him, you'll see her in Heaven one day. Hers was truly a beautiful soul and she lives on there.
Her obituary has more information about her:
Bryson City - Velma Roper Grant, 92, of the Silvermine community, went home to be with the Lord, Friday, Oct. 20, 2006.
A lifelong resident of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Raleigh Judson and Catherine Dills Roper. She loved to sing and was an avid gardener. She was a homemaker, and a loving wife, mother and grandmother.
She was the wife of the late Rev. Jesse J. Grant, who died in 1988. She was also preceded in death by two daughters, Joan Barbara and Mary Imogene; and son, David Daniel Grant.
She is survived by two daughters, Evelyn Taylor and husband, Robert, of Bryson City, and Linda Hogue and husband, Dale, of Bryson City; six sons, Jesse M. Grant and wife, Retta Jo, of Bryson City, Joseph J. Grant and wife, Vivian, of Massena, N.Y., Raleigh Grant of Bryson City, Lance Grant and wife, Shirley, of Bryson City, Vance Grant and wife, Brenda, of High Point, and Marvin Grant of the home; daughter-in-law, Cheryl Grant of Hood River, Ore.; two sisters, Lottie Swafford and Lesa Gibson, both of Franklin; 47 grandchildren; 71 great-grandchildren; 54 great-great-grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Silvermine Baptist Church of which she was a lifelong member. The Revs. Jason Coley and Eddie Taylor will officiate, with burial in the church cemetery.
Raleigh Judson Roper (1889 - 1960)
Catherine Jane Dills Roper (1890 - 1957)
Jesse James Grant (1906 - 1988)
Joan Barbara Grant (1933 - 1933)*
Mary Imogene Grant (1934 - 1937)*
Joseph J Grant (1938 - 2011)*
David Daniel Grant (1942 - 1999)*
Silvermine Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery
North Carolina, USA
Maintained by: Mountain Links
Originally Created by: JoAnn Welch Coon
Record added: Jul 20, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20550618