Mina Anne Graning Stowers

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014

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May 16, 1936 – Dec. 1, 2014

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NATCHEZ — Memorial services for Mina Anne Graning Stowers, 78, of Natchez, who died Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, at her home, The Banker’s House, will be at 11 a.m. today at First Presbyterian Church.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time at Stratton Chapel.

Mrs. Stowers was known as “Sis” to her family and friends. She was born May 16, 1936, in Knoxville, Tenn., the daughter of Sara Junkin and Alan Ward Graning Sr. In 1950, her family purchased the home “Oakland” and settled in Natchez, her mother’s home town. She attended Natchez High School where she met her high school sweetheart and future husband, Luther Ambrose Stowers.

Sis attended Louisiana State University where she was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and was a Delta Kappa Epsilon little sister. She also attended Mississippi State University. Sis earned her degree in nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi, Natchez campus, and was a registered nurse at Natchez Regional Medical Center until 1994.

Sis was actively involved in Natchez history and preservation from an early age. She reigned as Queen of Natchez Pilgrimage in 1956, representing the Natchez Garden Club with King Herbert Mead representing the Pilgrimage Garden Club to which Sis would become a member in future years. As a member of the Pilgrimage Garden Club, Sis would become inducted into The Garden Club of America. During her life, she and her husband were instrumental in the restoration of a number of historic properties in and around the Natchez area. Most notably, Sis and Luther’s pride and joy their Natchez residence, “The Banker’s House,” which they restored, doing much of the work themselves. It would later be designated a National Historic Landmark. The Stowers family opened their home to tourists and guests for the annual Natchez Spring and Fall Pilgrimages for several decades. The restoration of their home, as well as other preservation efforts, garnered them both local and national awards.

Being actively involved in history and preservation, Sis held many positions including President of The Pilgrimage Garden Club. She was a founding member of The Historic Natchez Foundation and remained a member and volunteer for the rest of her life. She was chairman of the Natchez Preservation Commission for a number of years during this time. Her interest in family history and genealogy led her into membership in the First Families of Mississippi and of the William Dunbar Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Sis was also involved as a member of the Natchez Junior Auxiliary.

Mrs. Stowers was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, Luther; and son-in-law, Gene Radzewicz.

She is survived by her four children; Luther Ambrose Stowers Jr. and wife, Dee Dee, of Brandon, Sara Stowers Green and husband, Robert, of Starkville, Anne Barton Stowers and Mary Stowers Ditzler and husband, Kelly, all of Natchez; seven grandchildren; Jennifer Stowers Thompson and husband, Tommy, of Houston, Kathryn Green Ashmore and husband, Will, of Millbrook, Ala., Louisa Leshe Mohon of Hattiesburg, Samuel Stowers Mohon of Starkville, Joshua Caleb Stowers, John Allen Stowers, and Matthew David Stowers, all of Brandon; three great-grandchildren, Natalie and Tuck Thompson and Ella Ashmore; and two brothers, Alan Ward Graning and wife, Loretta, of Madison, and Charles Hugh ”Chick” Graning of Natchez.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the Historic Natchez Foundation or First Presbyterian Church, Natchez, or to a charity or organization of choice.