On Tuesday, September 2, 2008, Gracie Lois Tuggle Pounds Black lay her earthly cloak aside and entered into that heavenly realm that is provided for all of God's saints.
"Ma Pounds" as she was so lovingly called by everyone that knew her was a woman of the earth. She could take nothing, a cast off from someone else, and make something very useful. I guess she was a pioneer in the field of recycling.
There are probably thousands upon thousands of now grown children that have sat under the trees at Indian Creek Youth Camp south of Oakman and listened as she brought to life the events and peoples of the Bible. And add those same chldren to the number that she taught to swim either in the creek or the swimming pool, once there was enough money to build one.
Ma Pounds was of Cherokee descent and it was very evident in her physical features. She had that beautiful dark hair and eyes and those lovely high cheek bones. Her heritage could probably account for her ability to make something of nothing. It is said she even whittled her own crochet hooks.
I knew of Ma Pounds reputation long before I ever met one of her daughters-in-law. Judi was a young lady from the Chicago area that was introduced to Wheeler Pounds by an Alabamian that was living up there. It seems that the love bug bit them both. Judi married Wheeler and he promptly brought her south and began the process of making a southern of her. The house they live in was constructed largely by them. It was only recently that the roof was replaced. They had covered the house originally with hand cut shakes.
Judi and I became acquainted when she began volunteering at the school. It was as if we were supposed to friends and now some thirty years lately we are very close to each other.
Wheeler is currently in Russia on a teaching mission. He and the other siblings talked to their mother before he left about his going. She assured all of them that he should go and when asked what she wanted him to teach while there, she quickly said, "The truth." With that said she closed her eyes and never waked again.
The entire Pounds family is a very devoted Christian family. Their father, Bro. J.G. Pounds preached around Walker County and various parts of the south until age prevented it. After he passed away, Ma married Mr. Black who was equally as devoted to God as she was.
I dare say there are not many people in Walker County, Alabama and parts of the south that have not heard of the Pounds family, especially those among the brotherhood of the churches of Christ.
Ma Pounds will be missed, because her earthly self will no longer be around. Ma Pounds is now free of the terrible pain she had in her legs and will be able to walk unaided and be joined with the other saints.
My sympathy pours out to all her family. She was a good wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt and friend.