Onie "Mawmaw" Mae Deavers
November 11, 1933
December 21, 2018
Onie Mae ''Mawmaw'' Deavers, a homemaker, was a sharecropper's daughter who learned to drive a Model T in a cow pasture, and who became the matriarch of a close-knit family despite the premature death of a severely disabled daughter, and who later in life provided personal assistance to the elderly, died on Dec. 21 at her Meridian home. She was 85.
Born in 1933 near Collinsville, Miss., to the descendants of Phillips and Wedgeworths and other early settlers of Lauderdale and Neshoba counties, young Onie attended a three-room schoolhouse, cared for younger siblings at home, and even plowed fields of corn with a mule. After graduating Ponta High School she went to work in Meridian where she met and married a soldier on leave from the U.S. Air Force.
Married to Charles Samuel ''Sam'' Deavers from 1956 until he died at the age of 56, Onie is survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as four surviving children—Charles David, William Dennis ''Denny'', Donna Faye and Michael Dewayne. A fifth child was stillborn, and a sixth—Angela Dawn ''Angel''—was born with acute cerebral palsy as a result of an accident, but survived until the age of 10 in 1982 thanks to Onie's determination and outstanding care.
Onie was preceded in death by her parents, Albert Ernest Phillips and Martha Naomi Wedgeworth, her brothers, Ernest Rubush and Raymond Earl Phillips, and sisters, Mary Florence Reed and Martha Jane Tolbert. She is survived by two siblings, Joann Phillips and Jimmy Edward Phillips.
With the extensive experience as a caregiver to her daughter, Onie went on to work at the Queen City Nursing Home in Meridian and became a favorite companion of the elderly. Afterward in retirement, Onie enjoyed gardening, fishing, quilting, cooking and canning—and discussing politics.
Onie was as great a person as one can ever know or hope to know. She was a good neighbor, trusted friend, cherished sister, and loving mother.
Funeral services, officiated by Rev. Ron Harrison, will be held at the Webb's Funeral Home at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23 and visitation with the family is welcomed one hour prior. Burial will follow in the Herbert Cemetery near House, Miss.