Sadie Orilla Day Joseph

Published 5:51 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

July 25, 1934 – Nov. 3, 2023

MEADVILLE – Sadie Orilla Day Joseph passed away at home in Meadville on Nov. 3, 2023.  Born at home in Crosby, MS on July 25, 1934, she was the 10th child of Myrtis Baker Day and Grover Cleveland Day. Growing up in a large, hard-working family during the Depression, Orilla learned early how to be self-sufficient and let nothing go to waste. One of the greatest gifts her parents gave her was piano lessons as they provided entertainment and service throughout her life to come.

Orilla married the love of her life, Bob Joseph, at eighteen years of age and moved to Natchez where they raised their family and served their community and church, Lovely Lane UMC, for over 65 years. She moved to Meadville in 2020 where she was known by everyone as Mamawgran – the name her grandchildren called her – and enjoyed the constant company of her family and friends.

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Orilla’s greatest joy in life was serving others. She loved her family well with tailor-made clothes, home-cooked meals (from scratch), and a firm Christ-centered foundation at home.  In their community, Bob and Orilla were instrumental in establishing Associated Charities in Natchez where they raised significant amounts of money to financially and physically support those who needed it in the area. When their last child started school, Orilla served as the Assistant to the Special Education Teacher at Braden Elementary in Natchez. She learned so much during those years, but she adopted a universal sign for ‘I love you’ and always waved it when waving goodbye.  (It remains a common practice in the family today). In her church, Orilla played the organ and piano for over 60 years. She said that she preferred the organ over the piano because she could play louder than the piano and control the tempo. She honored her parents and late brother, Morris, by never charging a penny for playing at any wedding or funeral. She felt this was her gift back to God for her talent that she enjoyed so much and a thank-you to her family for providing the lessons when money could be better spent on something they needed. In addition to music, sewing was a deep passion in which she expertly excelled. Sewing for her family and friends was a joy, but her challenge and pride was in making antebellum dresses for the Natchez Pilgrimage and performance outfits for the Colonels Ladies at South Natchez High School in the 1980s.

During their later retirement years, Bob and Orilla greatly enjoyed traveling with friends all over the mountains from North Carolina to Arkansas and camping in their travel trailer to state parks within driving distance of Natchez.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband of 61 years, Robert Shelton Joseph, Sr.; infant daughter, Judy Diane Joseph; daughter, Lisa Wanette Joseph Wilson; siblings, Harold Day Sr, TD Day, Inez Day Johnson, Morris Day Sr, Eula May Day, Susie B. Day, James Malcolm Day, Richard Lee Day, and Dora Jean Day.

She is survived by her sister, Edna Young Day Durham (Earlie); her children, Deborah Sue Joseph Sullivan (Steve), Robert Shelton Joseph, Jr., and Tommy Steven Joseph (Andrea); grandchildren, Stephenie Lyn Sullivan, Christopher Thomas Sullivan (Stephanie), Sarah Lindsey Sullivan Stebbins (Elliott), Steven Ashton Joseph (Brittany), Stacy Brooke Joseph Reeves (Joel), Craig Thomas Joseph (Mary Francis), and Ashley Barrett Joseph; great-grandchildren, Callie Rivers Sullivan, Emma Claire Stebbins, Thomas Kent Sullivan, Henry Elijah Stebbins, Mayer Elizabeth Reeves, Tanner Thomas Joseph, Graham Ashley Reeves, and Andrew Stedman Joseph; a host of nieces and nephews that are too numerous to name them all, but she loved them very much; special caretakers who quickly became family, Dody Huff and Amy Jones, and, of course, her Corgi, Rosie. Many thanks to Compassus Hospice for the support and care during this time.

Visitation will be at Meadville Methodist Church on Monday, Nov. 5, 2023, from 10 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m.  Interment will be at Day Cemetery in Crosby, MS.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages a donation to your service organization of choice or the following well-deserving outreaches: Meadville Methodist Church Mission Fund: or The Stewpot Soup Kitchen in Natchez: 601-442-9413.

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