It was the serene morn of September 7, 2021, that the Blessed Archangel Michael appeared to usher into eternal rest a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend, Grace Green Brown Pickens.
She arrived in her family, the fourth of eight children, on December 20, 1927, to the late Bennie Brown and the late Lillie Bert Green Brown, in Franklin County, North Carolina. Grace became the matriarch of the Green Family. She was the third surviving oldest great-granddaughter of Isham and Dinah Green and granddaughter of Lucinda and Austin Green.
She was educated at Franklin County Training School, and upon graduation, attended cosmetology school, preparing her for a thriving career as a beautician in Louisburg, North Carolina. She relocated to Evanston in 1955 and was joined in matrimony eight years later to Clifton "Chick" Pickens, Jr. They had a loving marriage for 58 years until her passing.
Grace was a devout Christian whose love for the Lord began at an early age at the Main Street Baptist Church in Louisburg. Years later, she found a new family for worship at the Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Illinois. She was a longstanding member, who rendered dedicated service as an usher and helped prepare and serve meals to those experiencing homelessness. A servant of God, Grace tirelessly put others before herself. She visited and cared for sick friends and family and grocery shopped for and delivered food to the elderly.
Lightheartedly dubbed "Driving Miss Daisy" by her family, Grace faithfully chauffeured friends and neighbors to medical appointments, grocery shops, and worship services and programs at Second Baptist Church. This inspiring display of answering God's call to serve others contributed to Grace being honored by Second Baptist Church with its Outstanding Senior Award in December 2018.
In retirement, after many years as technician at Bell & Howell, Grace remained an active member of her church and community and continued pursuit of her lifelong hobbies.
An avid bridge player, Grace was one of the longest (more than 60 years) active members in the local Wednesday Night Bridge Club. She joined the group, "even though at the time, I didn't know how to play," Grace recalled several years ago. "I enjoy winning," she said. "When I make a slam, I get such a thrill, and I get up from my chair and yell"!
Grace was also a talented sportswoman with a passion for playing tenpin bowling, for which, over a five-decade period, she collected numerous ribbons and championship trophies. She loved trying her luck at the casino and bingo, too, and she was a big fan of playing Keno and other card games as a member of the Granny Squares Club.
Grace was a warm, generous, loving person with a beautiful spirit. She never met a stranger and was a blessing to all who knew her. Learning of Grace's death, Pastor Michael Nabors of Second Baptist Church expressed this sentiment to a church member: "I do believe she's already on the other side of Jordan. A sweet and gentle soul"!
A loving and devoted matriarch to a wealth of family and friends, Grace was preceded in death by her parents and six siblings: John Earl Brown; Willie Frank; Bennie Brown, Jr.; Lillie Lucille Brown Brister; Marion Louise Brown Baker Floyd; and Edna Garrett.
She leaves behind to cherish her memory: beloved husband, Clifton "Chick" of the home; daughter, Elizabeth A. Latimer of Silver Spring, Maryland; grandchildren, Halima Sow of New York City and Ramata Sow of Johannesburg, South Africa; beloved brother, Tom Brown of Louisburg, North Carolina; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended relative and friends, including life-long friends, Mrs. Edna Barber of Evanston, Illinois, and her daughters, Jan, Bettye, and Pam — Grace was loved by all and will be greatly missed by many — Interment: Cedar Street Cemetery, Louisburg, North Carolina
Arrangements entrusted to Thompson Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. Mr. Philip L. Gillette ~ Funeral Director
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