Floral 16

Lillie Wells Lefler Rudd

October 28, 1917 ~ August 27, 2021 (age 103)


Mrs. Lillie Wells Lefler Rudd left this life and entered heaven August 27, 2021 at the age of 103. Born in Cleveland, AR on October 28, 1917 to L.C. Wells and Cloie Tyler Wells, she attended school in Arkansas. On April 21, 1933 she married Ray Lefler of Scotland, AR who passed away in 1959. The couple moved their family to East Texas in 1948. The Leflers had five children, daughter Virgie who died in infancy in Arkansas, and four children who survive them, Patsy Lefler Bailey of Marshall, Bobby Lefler of Blue Mountain, MS, Cloye Lefler Jeter of Marshall and Martha Lefler Partee of Tyler. Also surviving are daughter-in-law Ann Hill Lefler of Blue Mountain and son-in-law, Dennis Partee of Tyler. In addition to her parents, husband and daughter, also preceding Mrs. Rudd in death were husbands Carl Johnson of Marshall and Joe Rudd of Georgia, brothers Emmitt Wells and Hershell Wells, and sisters Ruby Wells Greer and Lois Wells Hendricks, sons-in-law Richard Bailey and Jack Jeter, grandson Brett Partee, grandson-in-law Alton Tipps, stepmother Lou Brents Wells, and half-brothers James, Lawrence and Marion Wells. She is also survived by half-sisters Susan Wells Milam, Lillian Wells Simmons and Lyndal Wells Weems.

Mrs. Rudd was a homemaker and talented seamstress. She was also employed in Marshall at City Laundry, Gibson’s, Johnson’s Tom’s Peanut Company where she was the local vendor/distributor, and in her later years at the Social Security office. At various times she was a private babysitter and daycare worker. She was a faithful member of East End Baptist Church and Victory Baptist Church. During her long life she volunteered at various nursing homes, and was involved in the auxiliaries of her husbands’ organizations. She enjoyed watching baseball and football on TV, and as long as her vision lasted, she stayed current on the day’s news. She committed most of her rare leisure time to studying her Bible lessons. She loved to visit new places but liked her home the most, where she consistently grew beautiful flowers and abundant vegetables in her garden which she shared with many. Her greatest commitment was always to her large family, which grew over the years to include 14 grandchildren and their spouses, 20 great-grandchildren and their spouses, and 27 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Her presence was always celebrated at the annual Lefler Family Reunion in Morrilton, AR and Wells Family Reunion in Jefferson, TX where she was recognized for many years as the family matriarch. Each family member has cherished memories of times spent with “Big Mama,” as the diminutive lady was called by her grandchildren and their children. Over the years she fed all around her table with remarkable recipes of salmon croquettes, pineapple layer cake, “chocolate syrup” and homemade biscuits, blueberry-banana cream pie, and best-ever canned pickles, jellies and jams. Even with her always too-limited funds, she could feed a huge crowd on a moment’s notice with whatever she had in her refrigerator and pantry. Her grandkids all remember receiving special letters with a thin piece of chewing gum tucked inside and a note reminding them of how she wished she had more news to share and gifts to send. Even as her clan ever expanded, she sent birthday cards to each one, including all those who married into her family. In her world, there was always room at her table for one more. In almost 104 years of life she saw many, many changes and would share her experiences and wisdom with others who took time to ask. Hundreds of people have benefited from the oft-repeated advice that starts with “Well, Big Mama always said…” She will be missed by all those who were blessed to know her and those who knew of her wise words.

The entire family wants to express thanks and heartfelt gratitude to her grandson, Scott Jeter, for the loving care he gave his Big Mama in her final days. Due to Covid-19 a family-only graveside service to honor her memory was held Saturday at Colonial Gardens, led by Bro. Ron Segers of Victory Baptist Church under the direction of Meadowbrook Funeral Home. A public memorial will be scheduled at a later date. Memorials for Mrs. Rudd may be made to Victory Baptist Church, 607 E. Burleson St., Marshall, TX 75670 or other charities of your choice.


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