OBITUARY

Juanita Cozart

July 3, 1919September 19, 2020

Juanita Smith Cozart

July 1919 - September 2020

Juanita Cozart passed peacefully on September 19 due to complications following a major stroke at 101 years of age.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Joseph Richard (Joe) Cozart; parents, Sarah Lou Graves Smith and James Wesley Smith, Sr.; and siblings, Helen Malone, Jeanette Heinige, James W. Smith, Jr., Margaret White, and Myra Ann Street.

Juanita “Mama Nita” is survived by her children, Melba Joyce Van Reis, Milton (Jay) Cozart (wife Linda), and Mary Jo Geary (partner J.D. Thomas); six grandchildren, Carl van Reis, Charles (Chuck) Coffey, Danny Coffey, Connie Parker, David Constant (wife Lara), and Jackqueline (Jackie) Hudson; 14 great-grandchildren; and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

She was born in Montgomery County and grew up in Marbury, Ala. Following high school, Juanita graduated from nursing school at Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa and was an R.N. at the local Veterans Hospital for a total of 10-12 years. An active member of Alberta Baptist Church since her early 30s, Juanita was reliably present for any friend who needed her company or assistance. She stayed well informed throughout the years, especially on the latest developments in medicine and nutrition. You could ask her any question, and if she didn’t know the answer, then she knew where to find it. At age 79, a friend who was living at Skyland Oaks (now Regency Tuscaloosa) encouraged her to look at some new garden homes under construction. She picked the one directly across from the main building and lived there for 15 years serving as a “Resident Ambassador”. She lived in the main building for another six years after that and was the longest retirement center resident at 21 years. “Mama Nita” was a major influence and inspiration to all who knew her. She was not critical of others and gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. She was a person that you could always talk to and would help you work through almost any problem with her unique perspective. Her pragmatism, kindness, quiet determination, and ever present sense of humor meant everything to those who loved her. She will be greatly missed by us all, as evidenced by the room full of family and friends that attended her 100th Birthday Celebration in 2019.

Juanita will be laid to rest next to her husband at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park on Saturday, September 26. Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, is directing. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the graveside services will be private, but available on a Facebook livestream on the Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations Facebook page www.facebook.com/HeritageChapelTuscaloosa/

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to your local food bank or your favorite charity.

Condolences may be offered at www.HeritageChapelTuscaloosa.com.

  • FAMILY

  • Juanita “Mama Nita” is survived by her children, Melba Joyce Van Reis, Milton (Jay) Cozart (wife Linda), and Mary Jo Geary (partner J.D. Thomas); six grandchildren, Carl van Reis, Charles (Chuck) Coffey, Danny Coffey, Connie Parker, David Constant (wife Lara), and Jackqueline (Jackie) Hudson; 14 great-grandchildren; and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

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Services

  • Private Graveside Service

    Saturday, September 26, 2020

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Juanita Cozart

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Nelda Street

September 26, 2020

I remember Aunt Juanita as always kind, positive, upbeat, and seemingly carefree. The funeral service and shared memories were lovely and befitting for such a lovely woman. Much love to Joyce, Jay, and all of the extended family.

Charles Coffey

September 26, 2020

Having a bit of trouble getting in Mama Nita was a wonderful woman we all loved her so much she will be truly missed and God bless the entire family

Charley Coffey

September 26, 2020

I will always have the wonderful memories of my granny (Mary Jo) taking me and normally a large group of my cousins to Alabama for a number of Momma Nita’s birthdays parties. Though work kept me from attending her party this past year I was happy to know my oldest daughter Ava was able to go in my stead and meet a true matriarch of our family.

Billy Coffey

September 26, 2020

Miss you already, Mama Nita!
Love Ya, Billy Coffey

Jeffery Abercrombie

September 25, 2020

Mama Nita.
I married into your family and got to meet you. I am so glad I did. You are such an inspiration and are so loved. We will all miss you so much. Till we meet again...
Jeff

J.D. Thomas

September 25, 2020

I was very pleased to know Mama Nita . I enjoyed many conversations with her about various subjects. She had a very pleasant way about her that I will always remember. It was a pleasure knowing her for many visits and many years. I believe you are resting in paradise. Proud to have been your friend.

Robyn Coffey

September 25, 2020

Not many children get to meet their great great grandmas, mine did!! How lucky were we all to have known her and spent time with her!! Thank you for being such a shining light for our family to look up to.

Debra Coffey

September 24, 2020

What an honor to know this amazing lady! Such an inspiration to all of us!
101 years of age says a lot about her and her character. What I noticed in every visit and every picture of her, was her joyful and peaceful spirit, She Blessed us all that had the good fortune to know her and call her family.
Mama Nita you will be missed and may we all strive to achieve your spirit in our lives!

Mary Jo Geary

September 23, 2020

Mama Nita,
Knowing you for 78 of my 83 years, I have always felt your love and acceptance of me.
Thank you for being my
‘Other Mother’ and giving me a sister and brother.
You will terribly missed and always remembered. Love, Jo

Rebekah Abercrombie

September 23, 2020

We love you so much Mama Nita! I have so many memories with you. You are so amazing. Lots of love to everyone, she will be greatly missed.
Love, Bekah

FROM THE FAMILY

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