Selma Saxton Abernathy, 91, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, departed this life and transitioned into eternal life on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
She was born March 8, 1930, in Biscoe, Ar., to the late Howard and Carriebell Saxton. Selma later moved to Chattanooga, where she worked for American Saddle and retired after 25 years. Selma gave her life to Christ at an early age and later became a member of Marble Top Baptist Church where she served as First Lady beside her husband, the late Pastor Charlie Abernathy, for 43 years. After his death, Selma attended and joined the Rock Island Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Ronald Cook. There she served on the mothers’ board and remained faithful until her health failed. Before her decline, she walked over five miles daily, cut her grass weekly, worked in her garden, cooked, and attended church. Selma was the happiest being with her family.
She was the glue to her family. She was momma, sister, aunt, bonus mom, family to many, and never met a stranger. She had the biggest heart, would give her last, and do anything for anyone. Selma was a wonderful combination of warmth, kindness, laughter, and love. She would encourage her family to “be a boss”, push their dreams, wake up early and do something, stash $2 in secret places each day, stay in touch with your loved ones, love each other, and most importantly put God first.
Selma was preceded in death by her husband; her twin sister, Thelma McKinney; sons Charlie Abernathy, Jr., and Michael Abernathy; eight other siblings; a bonus daughter/niece, Classie Taylor.
Those left to cherish her loving memories and celebrate her life include her daughters, Norma (Larry) Ballanger, Flintstone, Georgia, Delphia (Sanford) Stone, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Sharon Abernathy, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Diane Abernathy, her faithful caregiver for the last 10 years; sons, Leroy Abernathy, Chattanooga Tennessee, Gary (Esther) Abernathy, Marietta, Georgia; bonus children /nieces Roz (Willie) Matthews and Christine Richardson; 18 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; 21 great-great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends.
Public viewing will be held 9-10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. at the funeral home.
Interment will be in Chattanooga National Cemetery; gate time at 1:30 p.m.
Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 423 622-9995.