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Mrs. Essie Mae Tripp, a beloved mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully at her home in Slocomb, Alabama, on Thursday, August 24, 2023. Known for her gentle spirit, kind heart, and thoughtful nature, Mrs. Tripp's life was a testament to resilience and the power of love.
Born on Tuesday, December 15, 1931, in Geneva County, Alabama, Essie Mae was the daughter of Mae Bell and Jessie Douglas. She was lovingly delivered by her grandmother, Callie Douglas, a midwife, on the family farm in Cotton Box, Alabama. Despite losing her hearing at a young age due to an illness, Essie Mae's spirit remained unbroken. She taught herself to read lips and attended school as long as resources allowed.
Growing up surrounded by family, Essie Mae found joy in the simple things in life. She loved playing softball, attending church socials, going for wagon rides, and learning about plants from her mother. Her affinity for plants earned her the nickname "plant whisperer," and she often sang gospel songs to them, nurturing them with the same love she showed her family.
In her adult life, Essie Mae worked as a housekeeper and cook, using her refined lip-reading skills to communicate effectively. She married Fred Tripp, a truck driver from Shelby County, Alabama, and together, they raised five children. Despite the demands of family life, Essie Mae never lost sight of her dream to become a nurse. She poured her nurturing spirit into raising not just her children, but her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
Essie Mae was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather, Will Haggood; brother, Albert Haggood; daughters: Linda Gustave Felton and Bernice Tripp; son-in-law, Walter Felton; and her grandson, Robert Bussie II.
She is survived by her children Joseph and Betty Tripp of Slocomb, Alabama; Bernell Tripp, of Gainesville, Florida; her grandchildren, James Tripp of Gainesville, Florida; Shermaine Cain of Slocomb, Alabama; Miranda Tripp of Dothan, Alabama; Dominique Felton of Enterprise, Alabama; a special cousin, Walter Douglas of Graceville, Florida; eight great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and a host of family and friends who loved her.
As American author Helen Keller once said, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." Mrs. Essie Mae Tripp lived these words every day of her life, touching the hearts of everyone she knew with her kindness, thoughtfulness, and gentle spirit. Her memory will continue to live on in the hearts of her loved ones.