Mattie “Laverne” Calvert (1-10-15) service 1-13-15

Mattie “Laverne” Gilchrist Pettigrew Calvert departed this life on Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Hardin Medical Health and Rehabilitation Center in Savannah, at the age of 94 years. She was born on Oct. 22, 1920, in Adamsville, the daughter of the late William Gilchrist and Fleetie Wilkins Gilchrist Eason.
Laverne married Robert D. Pettigrew on June 6, 1936. They had three children, Robert Larry Pettigrew, Patsy Ann Pettigrew, and Peggy Jane Pettigrew. On June 16, 1946, the family was involved in a tragic boating accident on the Tennessee River. Three members of the family drowned including her husband, Robert D. Pettigrew, and two children, Larry and Patsy. Laverne and her youngest daughter, Peggy, were rescued and survived.
On July 26, 1948, Laverne married George W. Calvert who preceded her in death. Laverne always gave acclaim to her homemade coconut pies for the proposal and marriage. Together the couple owned and operated a Memphis restaurant, “Dutch Cottage” where the specialty was pork barbecue and Laverne’s baked pies. After moving back to the McNairy-Hardin County area, Laverne worked at various manufacturing plants including Garan, Harwood and Kay Windsor. She was employed by the Hardin County Board of Education as a cafeteria worker at South Elementary and Hardin County Middle School. She also served as the cafeteria manager at Hardin County Headstart and Walker Elementary. She has served as a PTA officer and Girl Scout leader.
She was a member of Robertson Chapel United Methodist Church where she helped with canning for the annual bazaar. Other churches which have also held special places in her heart throughout her life include Mt. Sharon Presbyterian of the Gilchrist Community, First Presbyterian of Adamsville, First Presbyterian of Savannah and Hopewell Baptist Church. She has served God faithfully in many ways including serving as a Sunday school teacher, revival counselor, communion steward and prayer warrior. Her hobbies included working crossword puzzles, sewing, canning fruits and vegetables especially 14-day pickles, cooking for her family, and baking pies for neighbors and friends.
Laverne was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great- grandmother. She loved her family and they loved her. She was known as Mama Calvert, Grandmama, Calvert and Pickles. Laverne was a devout Christian and God’s grace was seen every time she smiled. She had an amazing way of showing love and living faith by the tremendous testimony she lived each day. She read her Bible daily and shared scripture and Bible stories with her children and grandchildren. She demonstrated to her family how to live life with a servant’s heart by placing Christ first and then others before herself.
She is survived by her children, Peggy Churchwell and husband Reggie of Nashville-Savannah, Ike Calvert and wife Charlotte of Savannah, Mike Calvert and wife Wanda of Jackson and Connie Wolfe and husband Jay of Savannah; one sister, Jean Sanders of Adamsville; nine grandchildren, Laurie Churchwell Stephens, DeAnne Churchwell Smith and husband Kevin, Mark Churchwell, Will Calvert and wife Mary Beth, Wesley Calvert and wife Anne, Joshua Wolfe and wife Keri Anna, Courtney Browder and husband Justin, Candice Stang and husband Jason and Corey Whitenack; 12 great-grandchildren, Casey Stephens and wife Cristy, Chris Stephens, Taylor Smith, Garrett Smith, Morgan Churchwell Jones and husband David, Mallory Churchwell, Annaline “Calvert” Wolfe, Abby Michael, Justin Michael, Cole Browder, Taylor Stang and Gabrielle Stang; and one fifth generation great-great-grandchild, Everett Jay Stephens. Laverne is survived by many special nieces and nephews along with a host of extended family and friends.
In addition to her parents, members of her first family, and her husband George, Laverne was preceded in death by one sister, Demovah Martin; one brother, Wayne Gilchrist; and one great-grandchild, Carli Wren Calvert.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Gideons International, American Cancer Society of Savannah or Adamsville, Robertson Chapel United Methodist Church or any charitable organization or church of choice.
Services were held on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Shackelford Chapel in Savannah with Bro. Mike Calvert and Bro. Jason Estes officiating. Burial followed in the Gilchrist Cemetery at Adamsville.

Leave a Comment