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Juanita Gatewood

She was surrounded by a host of her loved ones. The preceding day she was encircled and joined by family members singing favorite gospel and other guitar music. Her face absolutely glowed as she joined in as best she could with singing of praises.
Nita’s final days were spent in the presence of her many loving family members and friends taking care of her and sharing memories of days gone by.
Visitation will be held Friday from 5-8 p.m. at Hornbeak Funeral Chapel in Fulton. Graveside services will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Oak Grove Cemetery in Weakley Co. She will be laid to rest beside her loving husband of 21 years, Ray Harvey Wallace. Miles Mayo will officiate at graveside. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, in care of Relay for Life, 302 Carr St., Fulton, KY 42041.
Juanita was born Jan. 23, 1939, in Minnick in Obion County. She was the third of 10 siblings. Nita was preceded in death by her parents, Alf and Suedell (Stover) Cunningham; her husband Ray Wallace and husband James Gatewood; three brothers; John Ray Cunningham, Joe Matt Cunningham Sr. and James Lynord Cunningham, an infant brother; and her sister, Mary Camelia Cunningham.
 She is survived by four children and their spouses; Gordon and Elaine Forsythe of Tyngsboro, Mass., Eddie and Geri Forsythe of Murray, Van Harvey and Susan Wallace of Fulton and Tammy (Wallace) and Bobby Eaker of Union City; two stepchildren and their spouses; Vickie (Wallace) and Tommy Johnson of Martin and Scott and Loni Wallace of Murray.
In addition she leaves nine grandchildren and their spouses Ryan and JoAnn Forsythe, Brad and Annie Forsythe and Kelly and Colin Drury, all of Massachusetts, Eric and Christine Erskine of New York City, Courtney Forsythe, Charity and James Mounce and Jessica and Skylar Vanover, all of Kentucky, Austin and Heather Davis of Sidonia, Travis Davis of Dresden and Sarah Smith of Jackson; four step-grandchildren and their spouses, Tracy and Jeff Bennett of South Fulton, Teresa Decker of Martin, Andy and Susanne Collins of Henry and Jeanne and Brett Ashley of San Angelo, Texas.
Her 10 great-grandchildren are Carson Forsythe, Mason Forsythe, Reagan Forsythe, Courtney Jo Mounce, Wesley Mounce, Marvin Ray Vanover, Chloe Vanover, Wyatt Davis, Levi Davis and Jonathan Davis; and her eight step-great-grandchildren are Joshua Bennett, Ginna Bennett, Tyler Decker, Rachel Decker, Cameron Collins, Anne Claire Collins, Haleigh Jo Ashley and Jase Ashley. She has one step-great-great-grandchild, Noah Decker.
Juanita is also survived by her brother and his spouse, Stover and Joyce Cunningham of Dukedom; and three sisters and their spouses, Dallene and John Harbour of Union City, Carolyn Wells of Olive Branch, Miss., and Ann and Mike Cherry of Dukedom.
She attended schools at the former Minnick, Cunningham Cloverdale schools and graduated from the former Hornbeak High School in 1949. She loved to sing and was a member of the Hornbeak Quartet in the late 1940s and early 1950s. She had been a typesetter for The Messenger. Nita traveled extensively while married to Ray, a career Air Force serviceman, living in California, Alabama, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Illinois until Ray’s death in 1977. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years to the adult ladies class at South Fulton Baptist Church.
Nita’s passions were her flowers, crafts, needlework and sewing — especially quilting. She sewed numerous quilt tops, hand-quilted them and presented them as gifts to her family. She never threw anything out as she could envision and create it into a craft or project to be passed along to family, friends and even strangers she met in hospitals or traveling. Many stories were told of her joy in the sharing of her hand-made crafts to others. Her cookies, candies and food dishes have been the delight of generations. As a mother, she even drew pictures for her children to color or paint, rather than purchasing them. She was tremendously talented in so many ways. She will be, and already is, missed by many.
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