OBITUARY

Gene Kizer

27 September, 192214 November, 2022
Obituary of Gene Kizer
Gladys Eugenia “Gene” Kizer died peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, November 14, 2022, only weeks after celebrating her 100th birthday. A woman of deep faith, she dedicated her life to loving and serving God. She was the epitome of kindness, gratitude, and humility to the very end, finding a way to welcome and compliment every person she met (even the Hospice nurse, whom she told, “You have beautiful teeth!”). She spent her last five years living in Owensboro, KY, with her dear niece Mona Sims and husband Rick Sims, whose generosity and care she never took for granted. Born on a modest cotton farm in northeast Mississippi to John and Willie Kizer on September 27, 1922, Gene was one of eleven beloved siblings. She defied the expectations of her time by going away to college on a basketball scholarship; pursuing a Master’s of Education from Peabody College in Nashville; and moving (as a 20-something single woman) to Arlington, Virginia, to teach at Jamestown Elementary School. Throughout her life, she was a compassionate, engaged member of her community, always thinking of and doing for others. She lived to lift others up. Miss Gene was not one to sit idly when she thought there was an injustice or unkindness that needed addressing. She regularly organized walks and food drives for Arlington-Street People’s Assistance Network and was an active member of multiple organizations, including the Arlington Church of Christ, the Democratic National Committee, and the Alpha Delta Kappa sorority. She was an avid reader and writer, sending beautifully written cards to loved ones in thanks for every small kindness shown to her and often publishing in Open Windows and other devotionals. Gene was strong and bold yet humble, taking worthy risks but doing nothing for recognition. She had a grounded belief in her Creator, and she was accepting of all people and respected their differences and their innate value as human beings. She never resented the more unpleasant experiences of her long life. Even in times of illness, injury, or sadness, she was overwhelmingly optimistic and never let an opportunity to show gratitude pass her by. She spoke often and with a genuine heart of how blessed she was. She had a terrific sense of humor and would throw her head back in laughter if something really tickled her. She was affectionate and genuine and loved others well. Though she never married or had children of her own, Aunt Gene was exactly the kind of companion God intended a woman to be: she was the companion of every man, woman, and child that she knew. She was the friend everyone dreams of having, and she was the matriarch of the Kizer family. She was unendingly proud of her family and friends and is survived by too many to name in Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. If you asked any of her survivors who was her favorite, they would all say they themselves were. And they would all be right. Visitation and funeral will be held at McMillan Funeral Home in Booneville, Mississippi. Visitation is from 5 – 8 pm on Friday 11/18 and 11 am – 1 pm on Saturday 11/19 with funeral service to follow. Graveside service will be held at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Western Kentucky; Path Forward-VA (formerly named Arlington-Street People’s Assistance Network) of Arlington, Virginia; or Pine Vale Children’s Home in Corinth, Mississippi.

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Past Services

Friday, 18 November, 2022

Visitation

Saturday, 19 November, 2022

Visitation

Saturday, 19 November, 2022

A Celebration of Life

Saturday, 19 November, 2022

Graveside Service