From the backwoods of the Appalachian Foothills arose one of God’s most incredible creations – Kathleen Carder Miller Acrey, 89, who has now joined her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in that heavenly place of which she often talked, dreamed and sang about.

This precious woman was led into the gates of glory on May 23, 2024, after suffering several years with leukemia. The Bible says we will be met by a cloud of witnesses who we have touched, for Christ, while on this earth. Without question, her cloud was so large that Heaven was halfway empty upon her arrival.

Her stoic mountain strength was such that she had the cancer for many years, undiagnosed, though making regular doctor visits. Still, she carried on, smilingly, with her life, despite the enormous pain, cheerfully serving God, church, family, friends and anyone who needed a hand of kindness. She covered up her own pain in order to minister to others who were in other forms of pain that she believed had to be worse than hers.

God graced our world with this astounding woman on July 15, 1934, born to Jim and Ola ‘Collins’ Carder from Suches, Georgia. From her childhood years in the mountains, she learned the importance of hard work, service to God and love for everyone she met.

Her attributes were, as mountain folks say, “gracious plenty”. She played the piano by ear, sang in perfect pitch, knew how to plant a bountiful garden, and then can and freeze freeze what she gathered. Her cooking skills were beyond comparison. “Always wash your poke sallet many times to get the poison out of it,” was one of many pieces of wisdom.

She was devoted to her home church, Nimblewill Baptist in Lumpkin County, never missing a service and always singing a heart-felt hymn. And when food was needed? She loaded down the car and carried it to those in need.

When she married her first (now deceased) husband, Delbert Miller, they moved down from the mountains to build a better life than what they had known in such a hard scrabble existence. That life included the first home they owned – a small brick house—paid for with tiny wages from her job at Sears and his at Cathy Furniture. Many were the sales awards that she won from Sears-Roebuck by selling pantyhose at 99 cents a pair. Sears, known for its quality hosiery, put them on sale twice a year. Kathleen kept a file of 200 customers and would mail them all handwritten cards, inviting them to the sale, and almost all of them showed up. From this, Kathleen learned to be a good business woman and earned enough from 99 cents hose to buy several rental houses on her own.

Later, she would move to the appliance department from where she retired. However, retirement didn’t suit that hard-working, go-getter. She went to work at a jewelry store and again became the top sales person, repeatedly.

When Sears went bankrupt, someone said worriedly, that they feared for her pension. She shrugged it off. “Oh honey, I sold that as soon as I retired.” No college education was needed for the business savvy Kathleen.

Though she left the mountains, the mountains never left her. She planted her garden and scheduled surgery according to the signs of the moon. Also, she brought with her mountain ways and sayings.

Her Bibles are worn from repeated studying and learning the scriptures – always the King James Version – which demonstrates her goodness and devotion. She refused to say an unkind word about anyone, even if they had mistreated her. “Oh well, it’s okay. ‘ll just leave that to the Lord.”

Her beloved brother-in-law, Rev. Ralph Satterfield, a man not easily impressed, always said, “She is one of the finest women who ever lived. There is none better.”

The last fifteen years of marriage to her second husband, Richard Acrey, were, without question, the happiest of her life. Both adored each other and once when Richard was sick, she stayed up for several nights to make sure he didn’t stop breathing. They were devoted to each other with never an angry word between them, only eyes of adoration and smiles of love. Our family asks especially that you please pray for Richard in the sad, difficult days that lie ahead. An excellent woman is hard to lose. Especially when you loved one like Richard loved her.

She was one of the most beautiful women inside and out, never leaving the house without her perfectly placed, lovely clothes and all the decoration to compliment the outfit. We who are saved by grace, know we will see her again in the sweet bye and bye.

In addition to her parents, Kathleen was preceded in death by her first husband of 52 years, Delbert Miller, sister Imogene Shelnut, brothers, James Carder, Jr. and J.C. Carder.

She is survived by the man she did not want to leave, Richard Acrey; stepson, Layne (Karen) Acrey; step-grandchildren, Heather Norman, and Holly Acrey. Three step-great grandchildren, Asa, Isacc and Abigail. Sister, Janie Kemp, brother Luke Carder (Martha) and a host of heartbroken nieces, nephews and extended family.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, May 26, 2024 at 3:00 PM in the chapel of Anderson-Underwood Funeral Home. The Rev Robert Nix and Rev. Allen Swafford officiating. The interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery in Gainesville, with the Rev L.C. Bennett presiding. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday, May 25, 2024 from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider making contributions, in Kathleen’s name, to Lumpkin County Gideons, PO Box 653, Dahlonega, Ga. 30533.

To share a memory or a condolence with the family, visit Mrs. Acrey’s online guestbook at andersonunderwood.com.

Anderson-Underwood Funeral Home, 2068 Highway 19 North, Dahlonega, GA 30533