Aweda Loretta (Jeffries) McDowell was born December 28, 1923, in Roby, Mo.; the first of eight children to Jess Clifford and Minnie (Biram) Jeffries. Aweda joined her Lord and Savior April 20, 2021, at her home in Licking, Mo. surrounded by loved ones. She was 97 years, 3 months, and 23 days of age.
Aweda was married to Floyd Sullins on November 12, 1943. From this union she was blessed with two children, Lonnie Floyd Sullins and Bonnie Sue (Sullins) Smith.
Aweda was preceded in death by her son, Lonnie Sullins; daughter, Bonnie Smith; son-n-law, Everett (Butch) Smith; parents, Jess and Minnie Jeffries; brother, Glen Jeffries; sister, Leota (Jeffries) Mitchell; first husband, Floyd Sullins; husband, Norben (Bob) McDowell; nephews, Steven Jeffries, Lynn Jeffries and Derron Hart; niece, Kelly (Conant) Nelson; and loving friend and partner, Lee Pierce.
Aweda is survived by her three grandchildren, M. Greg Smith and friend Heather Jones of Pea Ridge, Ark., Shelley (Sullins) Gregory and husband Louis (Vince) Gregory of Licking, Bonnie (Sullins) Cotrel and husband Kyle Cotrel of Roby; eight great grandchildren, Todd Vestal, Clinton Gregory, Drew Gregory, Taryn Sullins, Hallie Smith, Lane Cotrel, Wyatte Cotrel and Kasen Smith; five great-great grandchildren, Parker Vestal, Karter Vestal, Carsen Fury, Paisley Gregory-Gilmore, EJ (Johnny) Gregory-Gilmore; two step great-great grandchildren, Cadence Vestal and Bodie Cartwright; sisters, Bonnie Noah, Betty Conant and Sharon (John) Antonich; brothers, Paul Jeffries and Jerry (Norma) Jeffries; loving friend, Faye Sullins; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Aweda accepted Christ as her Savior at an early age and was a member of the First Baptist Church and Christian Church in Licking.
Aweda grew up in the Roby/Big Piney area until she was seven years old, and then moved to a farm in Bucyrus, Mo. There she started her education in a one-room schoolhouse, Plum Valley, with one teacher teaching all eight grades. Aweda had to walk 2-1/2-miles through the woods to reach the school. The 2-1/2-mile walk was just the beginning of Aweda’s educational journey. Aweda graduated from Houston High School in 1942. She continued her educational journey earning a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science – Guidance and Counseling.
Aweda had a love and passion for learning and instilled that love for learning within her students throughout her teaching career. Aweda began her teaching career in one room schoolhouses, Mooney Hollow, Paddy Chapel and Craddock; teaching all 8 grades. When Craddock School was consolidated with the Licking School District, Aweda followed her students and taught at the Licking R-8 School District. She continued to teach at the Waynesville School District while earning a Masters of Guidance and Counseling. Aweda worked for the Waynesville/Fort Leonard Wood school district as a counselor while teaching night classes for the U.S. Army and Columbia College at Fort Leonard Wood the last thirteen years of her teaching career.
Aweda was a firm believer in work ethic. During her teaching career she also worked part time and summer jobs to include Dunlap Grocery Store and Rawlings in Licking.
After retiring from the educational field she started a second career in real estate. She held positions at Century 21 Prestige Realty and Farnham Realty in the Fort Leonard area as well as Lane Realty and Green Realty in Licking.
Aweda was a member of the VFW Women’s Auxiliary in Licking and the Eagles Auxiliary in Salem.
Her greatest sorrow was the loss of her beloved son and daughter.
She enjoyed fishing, gardening, cooking, quilting, music, dancing, bingo, casinos and opening her home to family and friends.
She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and aunt.
She will be remembered as an honest, hardworking person with a friendly smile.
A visitation for Aweda will be held Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 5 – 7 p.m. at Fox Funeral Home, 128 S. Main St., Licking MO. A funeral service will be held Sunday, April 25, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. at Fox Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Licking Cemetery. Online condolences may be left at www.foxfh.net. Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home.