Irene (Gagee) Maree McMillen Duvall died Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, just before her 96th birthday.
She is survived by her son-in-law, Jim Dye; her grandsons: Jamey and Jerre; and her great-grandchildren: Jack, John David and Maya.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack “Poppa” Duvall; her daughter, Lynn Maree Duvall Dye; and her grandson, John Dye.
She shaped us. She loved us. She counted every stitch. Her life was long and full. Her melancholy was deep and beautiful ... a very old song. She was a modest woman of extraordinary depth. Like all the women in our family, she was strong — a survivor of cancer in the 1940s. And as a survivor, she was simply tuned in to another frequency that, perhaps, only another survivor can hear. As a result, she made time for things that were important to her and to her family. The rest could fall away.
She loved pretty things, “good music,” fine manners, ocean sunsets and the merits of a well-packed suitcase. She could keep a clean house. (This should be noted.)
Most importantly, she was a romantic at heart. This romantic spirit was never realized more completely than in her marriage to her beloved husband, Jack Duvall. He was her sun and moon. They met one lovely night on a train from Mississippi to Monet, Mo. Their evening chat led to letter writing. Their letter writing grew into a beautiful romance. They believed in marriage, in one another and in holding hands as they walked to church at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church every Sunday.
Like her mother before her, she loved blooming things. Perhaps this is why she was contented to see the world transform around her, to see her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren flourish as she rested inside the knowledge that she was a part of a grand and glorious design that she could never even begin to understand.
Ultimately, she showed us the intense fragility and yearning alive in the human heart. Her legacy is one of sentiment, beauty, tolerance, grace and meter. For this, and for so many other things, we are all eternally grateful. We have been blessed by her life and by the little things — the words, the quiet gestures, the stories and the emotions that have moved between us throughout the years. Her exit is an end to a very particular chapter in the story of our family. She loved deeply. She was deeply loved. May we all know this kind of joy.
A private graveside service for the family will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at Haughton Memorial Park.
Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be given to Amory Food Pantry, 123 S. Main St., Amory MS 38821 or to St. Andrew’s United Methodist Youth Fund, 1123 Veterans Legion Drive, Amory MS 38821.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at eepicklefuneralhome.com.
E.E. Pickle Funeral Home in Amory, Miss., is in charge of arrangements.