Jeanette Grantham Cates
July 24, 1924
October 23, 2017
Jeanette was born on July 24, 1924, the daughter of Rev. Lloyd Thomas Grantham and Ruth Coleman Grantham. Her girlhood unfolded in Central Mississippi where her father traveled to pastor a circuit of country churches around the time of The Great Depression. She learned to play the piano during this time and traveled with him as accompanist for congregational singing. Jeanette had an older brother Truett and younger sister Carol who preceded her in death, both of whom she loved dearly. In the early 1940s the Grantham family moved to Abilene, Texas, and Rev. Grantham, then pastor of Corinth Baptist Church, gained a young assistant newly come from North Carolina, T. Gerald Cates, who fortuitously saw Jeanette Grantham playing the piano at church. Not long after, ''at twilight'' on September 11, 1943, Gerald and Jeanette married. Several years later Jeanette and Gerald moved to San Antonio where Gerald had accepted the pastorate of Huisache Avenue Baptist Church. In 1950, she was with him in founding the still-thriving Calvary Baptist Church in Snyder, Texas, thereby answering the need for a church in the then burgeoning oilfield town. In 1961 Gerald became Associate Pastor at Highland Park Baptist, Abilene, and later Senior Pastor. From that time forward Abilene was hometown. Always, Jeanette's concern was for the teaching of children and with enriching worship services from her place at the piano or choir. In later years both helped establish Calvary Bible Church in Abilene.
She is survived by three sons, Steve Cates and wife Raye of Abilene, Texas; Gerry Cates and wife Carol of Albany, Texas; and Jonny Cates of Abilene. Her granddaughters are Edi, Mary Lydia, and Emma, and she enjoyed eleven great-grandchildren. Edi is Mrs. David Denton of Phoenix, Arizona, and their children are John Arthur, Audrey Louise, George, Elizabeth, and Bill; Mary Lydia is Mrs. Rob Pantin of Irving, Texas, and their children are Bob, Carol Eloise, and Travis; Emma is Mrs. David Compton of Abilene, and their children are Ed, Joe, and Ellie. Pallbearers will be Jim Compton, Tucker Mauldin, Rob Pantin, David Compton, Steve Dantzler, and Larry Sanders. Honorary pallbearers will be Jeff Eckard and David Upham.
Visitation will be 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Friday, October 27, 2017 at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 Hwy 277 South. A graveside service will be 1:00 PM, Saturday, October 28, 2017 in Elmwood Memorial Park.
Special recognition to the skilled and compassionate doctors, nurses, and staff at The Oaks in Radford Hills and Hendrick Hospice in Abilene.