Beloved matriarch Nannie Sue Johnson Chinn, 74, died on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC. Nan leaves behind a legacy of love that includes six devoted children Gilbert (Jennifer) Haile, Pamela Haile, Darran (Cindy) Haile, Elisa Chinn (Ernest) Gary, Andre' (Teah) Chinn and Philip (Konitra) Chinn; twelve cherished grandchildren Tyrone (Danielle) Haile, Angela (Chris) Fulton, Christopher Haile, Lucas Haile, JeT'aime Little, Harry Draper Jr., Diamond Porter, Jayden Haile, Ernest Gary III, Elijah Gary, Winston Chinn and Eden Chinn; six adored great-grandchildren Christian, Carter, Aubrey, Autumn, Gene and Nike; much-loved siblings Ella Mae Graves, Samuel (Dorothy) Johnson, Josephine Lowery, Stella Johnson Cook and Connie Johnson; treasured friends Sharon Thompson, Fern Porter and Janie Selbe; and a host of nieces, nephews and other loved ones. Nan was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Mary Boyden Johnson; husband Elijah Chinn; and brother James Troy Johnson.
Born Nannie Sue Pearl Johnson on April 29, 1944, Nan attended Atkins High School. She proudly earned her diploma and other certificates by attending night school as a young adult. She had a work ethic few could match. Like generations of women in her family, Nan was a domestic worker. Because she believed that every good work glorifies God, she became the best at what she did. Never allowing the struggle of low wages to dim her light, she modeled for her children the pride that comes in an honest day's work and the importance of an education.
Nan devoted her life to Jehovah God and was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses on August 16, 1966 in Baltimore, Maryland. Living by biblical principles and ministering to others centered her life and became the foundation on which she raised her children. Nan had a fun and creative side. She discovered her style and artistry through flowers and floral arrangement. Flowers became her signature. She adorned her hair, hats, wrists and lapels with gorgeous flowers. She decorated her lawn and front porch with such a brilliant variety of flowers that neighbors stopped and cars blew their horns. At her healthiest, she was an avid walker. She called her workouts "fashion walking" and always wore colorful flowers. In her late years, she could be spotted sitting on her front porch admiring her flowers and blooming trees, wishing her neighbors a good day, watching her grandchildren play and chatting with family and friends.
Nan's legacy can be found in the rich relationships she spent a lifetime building and the seeds of kindness she planted along the way. She loved deeply and was deeply loved. Nan expressly requested not to be memorialized with a funeral or service. She asked that her family and friends not mourn her death with tears but find joy in God's promise that one day there will be no more death, pain or sorrow. (Revelation 21: 4) As the family honors her wishes, we want to thank everyone for the outpour of love, support and prayers. We will see her again.