Cover photo for Doveanna R. Garner's Obituary
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Doveanna R. Garner

d. December 24, 2021

Doveanna Ruth Garner, 79, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama passed away December 24, 2021.

Doveanna Ruth Garner transitioned from this life on December 24, 2021, at the age of 79 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. But as a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and servant of God, Doveanna Ruth’s love of life did not come to an end with her death.

Doveanna Ruth entered the world to loving parents, Tommie and Doveanna Watkins, on August 7, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at a young age and maintained her faith throughout her life.

In marriage, Doveanna Ruth birthed six daughters, four with William Fulton, two with Elie Garner. Motherhood defined Doveanna Ruth’s life. She often said, “I was a mother hen with six baby chicks.” Although she was known by many names—Tissie Baby, String Bean, Van — Mama was her favorite. In addition to her biological children, she was second mother to three sons, grandmother to twenty-one, great-grandmother to ten, foster-mother to one, and other mother to nieces, nephews, neighbors, and friends. She welcomed every child with open arms. In these roles, she acted as a teacher, doctor, counselor, and consoler—offering wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and love.

Along with mothering, Doveanna Ruth cherished many interests. She loved music, with Gospel, Blues, and Rhythm and Blues as her favorites. As a member of Faith Baptist Church, she sang in the choir, in which she sang leads in their annual Christmas Cantata. She played the organ and enjoyed dancing; family gatherings did not end without her “getting down on the floor.” She was a shrewd judge of character, possessed a keen sense of humor and could beat almost anyone in a verbal duel. Doveanna Ruth was a model of strength and determination, which inspired others. She was a superb cook — she never turned anyone away from her table — an avid reader, and an astute verbalist, often articulating a long list of witticisms and sayings. She was also a travel enthusiast, bingo champion, and life-long learner.

Education and community service were of great importance to Doveanna Ruth. She completed certifications in key punch and data processing. Her commitment to excellence was evident in her work as a dedicated and efficient manager for retail organizations. She was a proud homeowner who invested in her property and taught her children the value of self-sufficiency. Doveanna Ruth had a heart for anyone in need. She opened her home to single mothers and children. Her compassion for others extended to nursing and care. She provided home care to her brother-in-law Lloyd Smith and end-of-life care to her father-in-law and brother-in-law, Roosevelt Garner, Sr. and Jr. and other family and friends. She was a licensed foster mother, a Girl-Scout mother, and served on the South Bend Housing Authority Board of Directors.

Doveanna Ruth was preceded in death by her parents Tommie and Doveanna Watkins; husbands Bobby Bosman and Eli Garner; children Dal’Valisa Fulton and Charles Garner; grandchild David Hall; siblings Tommie Watkins, Jr., Willie Watkins, Pauline Smith, and Charles Watkins, and sisterin-law Marná Watkins.

She leaves many friends and loved ones to mourn her passing including: daughters DeWita Knight (William), DoVeanna Fulton, DoMonica Bridgeforth (Michael), Enitra Hill (Bryan), and Dannilla Garner; sons by marriage Eli Garner, Jr. (Teresa), and Brian Garner (Jacqueline); grandchildren Danna Davis (Anthony), Larry Murphy Jr. (Kayla), Brian Garner, Jr., Dorian Baker, Jr., Diamonte Baker, Marquel Thompson, DeAja Baker, Scotty Hall, Dominique Haliburton (Andrew), Derlonda Young, Brianna Moore, Joseph Moore, Israel Fulton, Ashton Young, Tommya Garner, Joshua Knight, Logan Knight, Azaria Hill, Aziya Hill, Elie Garner, and Abriya Hill; great-grandchildren Omari Belcher, Autumn Davis, Akeem Ukpong, Ariyah Haliburton, Amir Haliburton, Amiyah Haliburton, Alayah Haliburton, Azariyah Haliburton, Abriyah Haliburton, and Bella Rosé Murphy; siblings Mary Moxley, Marshall Watkins (Judith), Harold Watkins, and Patricia Marlowe; sisters-inlaw Dorothy Watkins (Willie), Dorothy Watkins (Charles), and Patricia Gordon Watkins (Charles); former husband William Fulton (Alberta); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

We will forever remember her as a blessing to her family, friends, and community.

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