Ressie Whorton Utz or “Grandma Utz” as she was known to so many, went to her final home with the Lord early Monday morning, June 10, 2013 just two weeks after celebrating her 91st birthday.
Ressie was born in Rappahannock County, Virginia on May 22, 1922 to Henry Taylor Whorton and Lilly Margaret Cloud Whorton. She was the fifth of their thirteen children. On March 18, 1939 she married widower Thomas Herbert Utz and became mother to his five remaining children: Menefee, Sonny, Evelyn, Lois and Donald Utz. Ressie and Tom also had four children of their own: Harold Ray “Dick” Utz, Marjorie Ann Grizzle; William Carson “Buck” Utz, and Glenna Margaret “Etta” Buchanan.
In her earlier years, Ressie worked in the Southern Garment Factory in Culpeper, VA before moving to Haymarket, VA. In 1957 she went to work for the new Woolworths opening in Manassas and worked there until 1969. After her husband’s death, Ressie moved to Manassas to live with her daughter, Ann, and son-in-law, Joel Grizzle, for many years before moving to her most favorite place on earth – Potomac Park Camp in Falling Waters, WV. While at Potomac Park Camp, Ressie enjoyed many years working on the staff and will be remembered by untold numbers of people for the hundreds of dozens of delicious homemade cinnamon rolls she made.
Ressie loved her little cottage at Potomac Park and to sit on her porch swing but mostly she loved her family, friends, and especially the Lord. In the fall of 1953, Ressie heard the voice of the Lord to surrender her life to Him and she never regretted it for a moment. She loved Jesus and was happy to tell how He had changed her life to anyone who had time to listen. Ressie was a long time member at Centreville Assembly of God (Centreville, VA) and then in her later years a member at Marlowe Assembly of God. (Falling Waters, WV) Always a worker, Ressie was active wherever needed in church—from the cleaning crew to nursing home and jail ministries and she taught Sunday School for many years—from nursery age to adults. Ressie was known as a “prayer warrior” and you could be confident she would help you bring your requests to the Lord in prayer.
The last few years, Ressie’s failing health and frailty meant she needed to move in with Buck and Rose and also with Etta and Jerry so she could receive the loving care she needed. On the Thursday before her death, the Lord graciously granted Ressie one last wish to visit her beloved cottage one more time. Etta took her up that day with the intentions of spending one night before coming back home. Ressie had a great day and enjoyed herself so much she kept saying “this feels just like Christmas.” Later that evening her voice here on earth was silenced by a stroke.
Ressie is survived by her daughters, Evelyn Utz Pullen and Lois Utz Whorton; son, Donald Utz; son Buck Utz and wife, Rose; her daughter, Etta Buchanan and husband, Jerry; her son-in-law Joel Grizzle and wife Landra; and daughter-in-law, Shirley Utz. She is survived by grandchildren: Floyd & Barbara Utz; Wayne & Lydia Utz; Pressley Pullen, Jr.; Nancy Pullen Cummins; Becky Pullen Lumpkin; Willie Pullen; David & Martha Pullen; Mary Pullen Clifton; Linda & Smokey Winstead; Jackie & Marke Rawlings, Frank Baylus Whorton II & wife Judy; Vickie and Riley Watts, Sr.
“Grandma Utz” is also survived by her four biological grandchildren, Jo Ann Grizzle and husband Rev. David Baird; Tommy Utz and his wife Donna; Chantel Utz and husband Rev. Wesley Beahm; and Kelly Grizzle and husband, Rev. Ron Woods. In addition she is “Grandma Utz” to 9 great grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren. Ressie is also survived by her youngest sister, “Benny” Eunice Whorton and many nieces and nephews.
Ressie was predeceased by her husband in 1963, her daughter Ann in 1981 and son Harold in 1995 and stepsons, Menefee and Sonny. She was also predeceased by all 7 of her brothers – Charles, Robert, Johnny, Baylus, Roy, Dee & George Whorton – and 4 sisters, Grace Corbin, Virginia Clatterbuck, Lou Ada Brown, and Mary Elizabeth Dodson.
The family will receive friends Thursday, June 13, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 PM at The Life Church, 11234 Balls Ford Road with a service at 7:00 PM with Pastor David Baird officiating. A graveside service will be held 11:00 AM Friday, June 14, 2013 at Stonewall Memory Gardens.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to: The Life Church in loving memory of Ressie Gay Whorton Utz.
Condolences may be sent to: www.piercefh.com