On March 27, 1930, the trumpets sounded in Heaven as a sweet spirit descended and blessed Ralia and Beatrice Graham with a baby girl named Chaney Maxine Graham in Savannah.
She attended Dunbar High School where she graduated Valedictorian of her class. She accepted Christ at an early age and joined Saint John Missionary Baptist Church. She served there as a Sunday School teacher, mother’s board, trustee, missionary president, choir member, assistant superintendent of Sunday School, and Treasurer of the building fund. On September 12, 1948, she was united in marriage to William T. Winters and to this union six children were born.
Chaney spent her life serving and volunteering in the community in various groups such as Relay for Life, the Hardin County Senior Citizens and the Hardin Medical Center Auxiliary Board, until her health failed.
She worked as the housekeeper for Con and Mabel Welch for 43 years and as a crossing guard for the City of Savannah, where she safely escorted children across the street to and from school. She retired due to health reasons in March 1996.
Mama Chaney was characterized by her family as a loving and devoted mother who loved people and enjoyed caring for those around her. One of her greatest pleasures was giving to others. She also enjoyed sewing, gardening, cooking and was well known for her famous caramel cake.
On Monday, Sept. 9, God sent an angel and selected another rose for his heavenly garden, that rose was Chaney Maxine Graham Winters, at the age of 83 years. She leaves to continueher legacy five daughters, Chequita Smith (Oran) of Southfield, Mich., Demetrice Hart (Larry), Marilyn Winters, and Mary Elaine Casey (Ronnie) all of Savannah, and Denice Demers (Michael) of Franklin, Tenn.; nine grandchildren, Tameka Smith, Keith Winters, Chequita Winters, Juan Dixon, Ronnie Casey, Brittany Hart, Amy Smith, Ronald Casey and MacKenzie Demers; six great-grandchildren: Jakia Smith, Shawn Smith, Nakelynn Dixon, Drylynn Dixon, Kamara Casey and Desmond Hendrick, Jr. Near and dear to her heart is a very loving devoted niece, Janice Bumpous and a host of other family and friends.
In addition to her parents, Chaney was preceded in death by a son, William A. Winters, a brother, James E. Graham, and a sister, Mary Frances Dixon.
Services were held on Saturday,Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Missionary Baptist in Savannah with Rev. Sam Edward Reeves Jr. officiating. Burial followed in the Memory Gardens at Savannah.