The Obituary for Derenda Gulledge Garris is being shared as a courtesy to both the Gulledge and Garris families as they are long time residents and natives of Anson County.
Mrs. Derenda Gulledge Garris, 81, of Clemmons, left her earthly home to be with her Lord and Savior on May 4, 2020 at BrookRidge Retirement Community in Winston-Salem, NC. Her devotion to her family and her firm belief in God supported her during her time of illness. Derenda was born on August 7, 1938 in Lilesville, NC, daughter of the late Vera Tarlton Gulledge and Joseph Francis Gulledge Sr. In addition to her parents, Derenda was preceded in death by her sister, Diane Gulledge Moore; her brother, Joseph “Joe” Francis Gulledge Jr.; her infant sister, Mabel Elaine Gulledge; her infant granddaughter, Claire Elizabeth Garris; her father in-law, William Alexander Garris, Sr.; her mother-in-law, Pauline Hooks Garris; her brothers-in-law, Phillip Paul and Danny McDonald; and her nephew, Paul Garris.
Derenda was a graduate from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She completed her master’s degree from the The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in Supervision and Instruction and School Administration. She spent 20 years guiding young learners in their education and the next 20 years as a school administrator in the Richmond County School System. She loved watching her young students grow as learners and supporting her staff as a servant leader. She touched the lives of many students and staff members. Derenda had a life-long love of reading and couldn’t wait to share good books with others. Derenda was an avid gardener who prided herself on landscaping and growing all kinds of plants (she had a real green thumb.). She had an easy smile and truly never met a stranger! Derenda will be greatly missed and was loved by all who knew her.
Derenda is survived by her husband of 60 years William Alexander Garris Jr. of Clemmons, NC; her daughter, Christie Garris Weatherly (David) of Lexington, NC; her son, William Eric Garris (Lisa) of Melbourne, Florida; and six grandchildren: Wade Weatherly, Sophie Garris, Alexa Garris, Lea Garris, Katie Garris, and Ava Garris. She is also survived by her sisters, Matilda Paul of Wadesboro, NC and Norma Lassiter (Wayne) of Kure Beach, NC. In addition, she is survived by brothers-in-law: Ed Garris (Hilda) of Kernersville, NC, Bob Garris (Dawn) of Wadesboro, NC, and Tim Garris (Marie) of Indian Trail, NC; sisters-in-law Carolyn Bean (Tom) of Kernersville, NC and Betty Pope (Clarence) of West Columbia, SC; and many nieces and nephews. Derenda was a member of First Baptist Church in Rockingham and taught Sunday school with her husband for many years. Later Derenda and her husband moved to Clemmons NC where they became members of Calvary Baptist Church. They served together in a pew pocket ministry for the church and went on many mission trips with the senior choir to serve and support nursing home ministry and helping support communities in other states. A private graveside service will be held at Westlawn Gardens of Memory, officiated by Pastor Matthew Sink. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 134 S Peace Haven Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104 or to Life At Home at Baptist Retirement Homes, PO Box 11024, Winston-Salem, NC 27116. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com.