“Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” a sentiment shared both by Ruth 1:16 and Gloria Bazemore. On September 25, 1960, Gloria Reid pledged her love to her sweetheart, Johnny Bazemore, in front of family and friends. In a small service, those 61 years ago, she promised to love and cherish her husband, raise her future family in a Godly household and put God first above all else. Not knowing what the future would bring at the age of 16, we now know she did just that.
Gloria, affectionately known by most as “GaGa” was the epitome of a true southern lady, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She wore these titles with great pride, finer than any diamond or garment she possessed. As a mother to 3 children, 2 sons and one daughter, she and her husband were proud of their children and took active roles in their lives and the lives of their friends. Whether it be spending summers at the City Pool “lifeguarding” so that her children and other children in the community could swim to cheering them on at football games, she was there. She supported their passions and encouraged their education and careers. Gloria then welcomed their spouses with open arms and loved them as though they were her own. While she loved her children dearly, her grandchildren and later great-grandchildren were her pride and joy. Her home reflected this love in the many portraits and paper dolls she had of them. If she was not showing you one of their recent pictures, she was telling you about them and their accomplishments. “GaGa” and “Pop” coined special names for each of their grandchildren and were always proudly in attendance at sporting events, recitals, barrel races and school events, dressed in her best. She enriched the lives of all who knew her just by simply being there.
Gloria was no stranger to the community or the kitchen. She used her culinary talents, like most southern ladies, to make a difference in the lives of others. “GaGa” and her husband Johnny were active in the First Baptist Church of Butler where they served on various committees, most often involving the kitchen. Gloria was also once active with the “Walk to Emmaus” where she and her husband prepared and served meals to those attending the weekend retreat. She took great pleasure in hosting family and friends for holiday gatherings and spent days in the kitchen ensuring that everyone had their favorite dishes on the table. She used the kitchen as a vehicle to serve God and others in some of the happiest and darkest moments of their lives. There was no problem that could not be solved with her words of wisdom and glass of sweet tea served with a hug and kiss on the cheek.
In later years as her beloved husband’s health began to decline, she stood by her vows of “In sickness and in health” as she visited Johnny daily in the local nursing home. She was welcomed there by not only her husband, but the residents and staff there also enjoyed her visits. Her visits were highly anticipated as her charm, joyful nature and smile would brighten everyone’s day. A hug from “GaGa” and an “I love you” meant so much to them and to her. A phrase we often say out of habit and necessity carried weight with her because she meant it. Gloria was often heard saying that “God has a purpose and a plan for all of us” and “His ways are not our ways” encouraging others to cling to the promises of her Savior even in seasons of despair. Even in her final days she held true to the promises and her vows she made those 61 years ago. Proverbs 31: 25-31 best describes her with “Many Women do noble things, but you surpass them all” being the greatest of these.
Gloria Bazemore,78, passed away peacefully on April 30, 2022, at the Medical Center of Central Georgia surrounded by family after suffering a brief illness. Gloria is proceeded in death by her mother and father, Thomas and Irene Reid, and brother, Gary Reid. Survivors include her husband, Johnny Bazemore; her 3 children, Cindi (Barry) Whitley, Bobby (Patti) Bazemore and Reid (Jodie) Bazemore; 6 grandchildren, Payton (Holly) Whitley, Abby (Nathan) Poole, Ollie Bazemore, Sara Beth (Kollin) Eubanks, Laura Kay (Travis) Hardy and Annie Bazemore (to wed Landon Tinsley May 13, 2022); 8 great-grandchildren, Micah John, Karsyn, and Karter Eubanks, Ryn Hardy, Howell, Willa, and Whitley Poole and Elie Bell Whitley (scheduled to arrive Friday, May 6, 2022) and sister, Glenda Cobb.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 2, 2022 at 3:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of Butler. The family will be receiving friends at the church from 1:30 until the service hour. Burial will follow in Butler Memorial Cemetery.
You may sign the online guest register at www.mcleightonfuneralservice.com
McLeighton Funeral Service of Butler is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gloria Bazemore, please visit our floral store.