Iris J. Elliott, 79, of Willisville passed away Sunday morning. May 19, 2019 at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.
She was born September 3, 1939 to Andrew Martin and Leola Beasley in Willisville. Jean joined Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at an early age. She attended grade school at Sweet Home School in Willisville, Arkansas, until the eighth grade. She furthered her studies at Oak Grove High School in Rosston, and received her high school diploma in 1958. After high school, Jean moved to Dallas, Texas and held jobs at both Avalon Poetry and Fridger King.
She met and married Earnest Moss. To their union, a son was born. The child was stillborn. She later moved back to Arkansas and began working at Shanhouse in Magnolia. After her union with Earnest, Jean united in matrimony with Hersey B. Elliott. To their union, one daughter was born, Velda Jeanette Elliott. Some years passed; and she joined hands with Leartis Dansby. Later in life, Jean and Hersey decided to reunite. She also cared for the elderly for different families by private sitting.
Jean enjoyed serving the Lord and was a true believer in prayer. She loved to share her gift, as she would call, her praying hands with others. She would visit homes, hospitals and nursing homes praying for people -- that was her mission. Jean always wanted to play the piano. She tried piano lessons but failed. So, she prayed to God to guide her hands to play the piano. She chose a Sunday at church to show the world the gift God gave her. With her gift, she shared her God given talent with Pleasant Grove, Kendricks Chapel, New Hope, Harrison Chapel and other surrounding churches that she would attend as needed. She also served positions at Pleasant Grove that included musician, member of mission board, and president of senior and young adult choirs. She was a member of different quartets: The Gospel Melodies, The Dansby Singers, The Wondering Stars, and most recently The Golden Stars which she was manager. Jean rededicated her life to the church on January 14, 2014. She loved to be in church whenever she could until her health began to fail.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; grandparents; her son; sisters, Jarva Pearson and Velma Mixon; and brother, L.Z “Zeke” Martin.
Jean leaves to cherish her memories her husband, Hersey B. Elliott of Camden; her loving and devoted daughter, Velda Christopher and son-in-law Marcus Christopher Sr., North Little Rock; grandchildren who called her “Maw-Maw,” Dajha Hardamon, Marcus Christopher Jr., and Janiya Christopher, all of North Little Rock; granddaughter and great grandson Tierra Christopher and Terrance “T.J.” Williams of Dallas, Texas; one sister, Bobbie Conaway of Pine Bluff; four stepchildren, Angela Dunn (Kenneth) of Magnolia, Hersey “Billy” Zackery (Cowanius) of Dallas; Angie Elliott of Atlanta, and Michael Elliott Sr. (Erylsha) of Jacksonville, FL; one play sister, Mrs. Dorethea Coleman; a special cousin, Clara Rone; and a host of supporting and loving nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Willisville.
Burial will follow at St. Peters Cemetery in Willisville, under the direction of R.L. Reed Funeral Home LLC of Magnolia.
Visitation will be held noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 24 at the funeral home.