Annie Rheta Gray Pierre was born in Natchez, Mississippi on March 12, 1938 to the late James Brown and Nancy Johnson. She passed peacefully in her sleep and ascended to Glory to meet her Holy Father on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. Her life was marked by humility, service, and the love of Christ. She was 76 years old.
She was united in holy matrimony to Ferdinand Pierre Sr. on June 29, 1967 and bore two children from this union, Ferdinand Pierre Jr. and Nancy M. Pierre Weathersby. She also was a devoted mother to Shelia B. Ruffin.
She valued education and hard work to support her family. After completing her studies at Joseph S. Clark high school, Straight Business School and St. Mary’s Dominican College, she was employed as a secretary for the United States Coast Guard for 28 years until her retirement. She was a woman of many other roles and titles as well: Parent Teacher Association volunteer for the Orleans Parish School Board; Orleans Parish Department of Elections and Registration staff; bookstore clerk at the University of New Orleans; and bookkeeper at Jacques-Imos.
Her greatest contribution was her commitment to the Lord. She was a member of Beecher Memorial Baptist church for many years where she served on the executive council and deacon board. She also provided support as a secretary and Sunday school teacher. She was formally ordained a deacon on January 5, 2014 and exemplified the character and integrity of a righteous servant.
Her legacy lives on through her family: Nancy Johnson, mother; Shelia B. Ruffin, daughter; Ferdinand Pierre Jr., son; Nancy M. Pierre Weathersby (Irvin Sr.), daughter; Terri Lynn Gerhauser (Stephen), sister; her grandchildren: Gil (Myesha), Keisa (Bandele), Irvin Jr., Ranard (Tina), Anthony, and Ferdinand; her great-grandchildren: Kenneth, Terrence, Gabrielle, Robert, Daisha, Josilyn, Bailee, Juliana, Izabella, Angelo, Nadiyah, and Taja. She is survived by a host of other relatives and friends. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Those who knew her well recall her familiar greeting, “Come on, let me get my sugar,” she would say as she leaned in to kiss you. “You know when I get busy, I’m liable to forget.”
She was preceded in death by her father, James Brown; husband of 50 years, Ferdinand Pierre Sr.; son, George Darrell Brown; sister, Myrna Oliver; grandson, Joshua Brown; and aunt, Agnes B. Guyton.
“Jesus said onto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”