Evelyn Walthall, 78: ‘Auntie Evelyn’ loved family, singing, community

No one could make a Thanksgiving dressing quite like Evelyn Walthall.

“She said I came close,” said her daughter Kimberly Walker.

A great cook and ever so Southern, she always gave visitors to her house a meal and a friendly reminder to never forget, “ ‘your HT,’ home training,” Walker said.

From her family-famous dressing to her homemade biscuits, pound cakes and salmon croquettes, Walthall “didn’t care what was in the fridge, she could make anything,” said Walker.

She loved holidays and had a witty sense of humor, Walker remembers. “She made us red, white and blue grits.”

Raised in Fairburn, Walthall loved to sing. She had a rich alto voice and was a part of her church choir for over 60 years.

She spent her life singing, and it affected her life so much she requested that she be buried in her choir robe.

Evelyn Wilcoxson Walthall died Sept. 30 of cancer. She was 78. A funeral service was held Saturday at First Baptist Church, 23 Malone St., Fairburn. Gus Thornhill Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Not only a great cook and a powerful singer, she was also an award-winning gardener.

She was an active member of the Pine Center Garden Club. Her backyard filled frequently with the blooms of sunflowers, tiger lilies, azaleas and her award-winning butterfly bush.

Walthall worked with the Pine Center Garden Club on many beautification projects in metro Atlanta including Grady Memorial Hospital and the historic Herndon Home.

She had a “helping spirit” said son Darrell Walthall, and was also involved with J.U.G.S. International, a humanitarian service organization dedicated to achieving Justice, Unity, Generosity and Service.

She was the recipient of numerous community awards.

“Every path she crossed she touched lives,” said Walthall of his mother. “She left a lasting impression with everyone.”

Walthall was one of ten children and was ever a mother figure. She loved her family and the traditions they shared.

Every Sunday the family got together after church and ate Sunday dinner.

During the summer she voluntarily held an unofficial summer camp, when all the family children would spend the summer with “Auntie Evelyn.”

Her son remembers how she gave until she couldn’t give any more and without any expectations in return, “she was a giver who lead by example; she taught me to be a giver,” he said.

She taught her daughter to always speak her mind and how to be successful in life and in marriage. Walker says one of greatest lessons Walthall taught her was, “how to die.”

“As hard as this experience was for us, for your mother to teach you how to die gracefully and with assurance of faith is on another level that I’m still absorbing.”