“A Woman of Dignity, Resilience, and Unbending Principle”
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve: whether the gods of your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD. – Joshua 24:15
Annie Catherine Goodloe was born in Colbert County, Alabama on Wednesday, April 27, 1949, to parents Robert and Emma Jean (Whiteside) Goodloe. Annie was the second child of five, Author, Annie, Robert Jr., Dondale, and Brenda born to this family. Author and Robert Jr. were preceded in death.
Annie spent her early years in Leighton, Alabama. She gave her lifer to Christ at an early age at Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Leighton, AL under the direction of Pastor Ford and her maternal grandfather Associate Minister Rollie Whiteside. Annie would share fond memories of when she was compelled to give her life to Christ by talking about going to the “mourning bench”, which was a bench or seat at the front of the church, set apart for mourners or penitent sinners seeking salvation.
Her early childhood included working in the cotton fields, helping her parents to earn an income while simultaneously going to school. She began cooking full course meals at the tender age of 8. She also helped to look after her siblings and adopted siblings Dondale, Walter, Lee, and Brenda.
Annie attended Mount Olivia Elementary, Webster Middle School (1 year), and graduated from Leighton Training School in 1967. She also attended Selma University where she studied business administration.
In August 1969, Annie came to Denver, CO. She was excited to join family that became Colorado residents years before. In September 1969, she became employed with Western Electric. What made working there more enjoyable, was that she was able to work with several family members and friends. As the company name kept changing, so did some of the job titles. The company outsourced many departments, and many people moved on to other jobs, but not Annie! She was so determined to stay. When she was told that she would have to pass a physical in order to keep her job, she was also told that she probably wouldn’t pass. Well, if you knew Annie, you knew she was resilient. She passed the test with flying colors. She became a forklift operator.
Through the years, the company was renamed AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Avaya, and finally Celestica. Annie was one of the last 50 employees to be employed with the company. She dedicated 36 years of service and retired in November 2005.
In August 1970, Annie met the man that sparked her flame at the “Shapes” Nightclub. He was a handsome green-eyed charmer. Michael Adam Grissom was his name. He was affectionately known as “Poppa”. They spent many years together before they were blessed with children. To this union were born Shelly Denice and Michael Jermaine.
Annie was quiet and shy until you got to know her. Once you got her on a roll of conversation, there was no stopping. She enjoyed working…. a lot! She wanted to be sure she could provide for her family and not expect hand-outs from others. She once said she had to have a cosigner to get some furniture. Her cousin James Louis cosigned for her. Annie was determined to not have to depend on anyone ever again. She worked hard for the things she needed and wanted in life.
Some of her favorite moments were spending time with her family and friends. Her best friend was Jeanette. They had grown up together in Alabama and continued their friendship here in Colorado until Annie’s passing. Some of her best friends included her cousin LaJoyce, aunts Dorsie “Dot” and Ruthie Jane, and her sister Brenda. You could always catch them together at family gatherings, nightclubs, and church.
Annie enjoyed being a big sister to Dondale “Donnell”, Walter, Lee, and Brenda Gale. She shared many special moments with them from being their cook, caretaker when their parents worked, fighter if they got bullied, to a loving spiritual advisor and prayer partner.
She relished in motherhood to Shelly and Michael J. Many times, she would emphasize the importance of education to them. She always encouraged them to be better than average. She would preach “Anything you do; do it with excellence”. Bringing a in grades lower than a “B” was not an option for them. If she could go to school 2-3 times a week (because of work) and come out with a “C” average, then there was no excuse for her children, who had an opportunity to attend school every day. An “above average” attitude is what she wanted to instill in them. Annie also taught Shelly and Michael J the importance of having family values, saving money, and to have a relationship with God, but more particularly, His Son Jesus Christ.
In her pastime, Annie enjoyed going to church, shopping, collecting elephants and shot glasses, and finally, COOKING. Her favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. Before the meal, she wanted everyone to share why they were thankful by saying a “sentence prayer” of thanks before consuming her scrumptious cuisine. Her typical Thanksgiving menu included turkey, ham, brisket, cornbread dressing, collard greens, green beans, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, potato salad, chitlin’s, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, fruit salad, pistachio salad, and at least 8-10 sweet potato pies. She didn’t want you to be hungry at her house with nothing to eat. She also didn’t want you going home without a plate for you and your family to share. If you never had the chance to eat her good cooking, you missed out!
She adored her grandchildren Caleb, Jade, Mason, and Maddix. Caleb being the oldest got to spend the most time with “Nana”. She was able to protect him from his mom’s spankings and share many life lessons with him. Jade, Mason, and Maddix were the apples of her eye as well. They were little “mini me’s” of Shelly (Jade), Michael J. (Mason), and Poppa (Maddix). Annie enjoyed talking to all her grandchildren and prayed continuously that God will be the head of their lives, and that they forever will look to Him for guidance throughout their lifetime.
Annie was a faithful church worker and child of God. She was president of the women’s department, served as deaconess, and she was over the pulpit and hospitality committees. She faithfully served 3 Pastors (Pastor P.H. Gholston, Pastor Emeritus Eugene Winn, and Pastor Keith Barber) at Pilgrim’s Rest and Christ the King Missionary Baptist Church over the last 50 plus years. There is no doubt she was greeted with “well done my good and faithful servant…”
Annie departed this earthly life on November 20, 2022.
Left to cherish her memory are her siblings, Dondale (Sallie) Goodloe of Leighton, AL; Brenda G. Goodloe of Denver, CO; her children, Shelly D. Grissom of Denver, CO; Michael J. Grissom of Montgomery, AL; her grandchildren Caleb Grissom-Valenzuela of Denver, CO; Jade Vinson, Mason Grissom, and Maddix Grissom all of Montgomery, AL; her aunts Susie Goodloe, Ruthie (James Smith) Goodloe both of Denver, CO; Dorsie “Dot” Brown of Sacramento, CA; Lucille Hampton of Sheffield, AL; Dorothy Phillip and Vickie Mason of Muscle Shoals, AL; Claudia L. Jackson of Sylacauga, AL; her uncle O’Neal (Rita) King of Russleville, AL; brothers-in-law Lonnie Frierson of Denver, CO; Gregory (Shirley) Grissom of Cheyenne, WY; Maurice (Dorothy) Grissom of Pasadena, CA; sisters-in-law Sandra (Gary) Fields and Roslyn Frierson both of Denver, CO; Denise Grissom of Pasadena, CA; her best friend Jeanette Mayes Parker of Denver, CO; a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, other relatives, and friends.