Floral 27

Ethel Mae Futrell

August 29, 1928 ~ December 25, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old

Ethel Futrell Obituary

Born Ethel Mae Askew, in Indian Woods Township, Bertie County, NC on August 29, 1928, her life was like a quilt – many colors stitched together by love, courage, strength and sometimes just plain hardship.  Ethel was raised by her great uncle and aunt, George and Lilly Rice, until the age of 11 when she went to live with her grandmother, Evelyn Askew, where she lived until age 17.  


She met her mother, the late Ardelle Askew, for the first time at the age of 9 and her father, the late Charlie Nixon, Jr. at 22.  Ethel moved to Hampton at 17 and later to Maryland, working as a caregiver.  


In 1946, she married Troy Goolsby, three children  were born to that union; Willie Troy, Geraldine and Laurine.  Her children were always the brightest light in her life.  Every day away from work was devoted to them – she loved dressing them all alike and riding the bus for five cents, having special game days and inviting the neighborhood kids who befriended her children.  ‘Mama Goolsby’, as she was affectionately known around the neighborhood, extended her generosity and love for Jehovah to each of them.  Wednesday afternoons at her home were set aside as Bible study day, to which all of the children were invited; two eventually becoming servants of Jehovah.  She first came in contact with Bible truths in the mid ‘70’s.  She came to know and love Jehovah and dedicated her life as one of His Witnesses in 1986. 


Ethel was a diligent worker; sometimes working two jobs to make ends meet and care for her children.  Still, she enjoyed housekeeping, sewing and gardening – both vegetables and flowers.


In 1990, she married childhood sweetheart, Leroy Futrell.  Coincidentally, they shared a birthday and chose to marry on that day as well.  


In addition to her former husbands, she was preceded in death by her brother, Roy Askew; sisters, Alice White, Willie Mae Spellman and Ruby N. Boisseau; son, Willie Troy Goolsby; daughter, Geraldine Carr; granddaughter Shonda Y. Sharpe and stepmother, Gracie B. Nixon.


She leaves to cherish her memories, sister, Iona Clanton; daughter, Laurine Johnson; grandchildren, Michael Johnson, Troy Goolbsy, Heyward Goolsby, Lamont Goolsby, Sonia Randolph, Lynn Randolph, Nicole Middleton, Quinta Davis and Timothy Gilmore; daughter-in-law, Romonia Goolsby, who was more like a daughter; a special friend and spiritual brother, Lewis Jones and a host of great and great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, spiritual family and friends.  

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Memorial Service
January 13, 2024

1:00 PM
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness
717 E. Little Back River Road
Hampton, VA 23669


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