Rannie Gomez, the true matriarch of her family, went home peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, February 16. 2021.
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She was born Rannie Price, to the late Walter Price and Katy Fisher on September 11, 1917 in Richlands North Carolina. She was the youngest of eight children. Rannie was 103 years old at the time of her home going. The life expectancy for an African American woman born in 1917 was 54 years old.
Rannie, known to all as Ma, Grandma or Nana, lived through the Flu Pandemic of 1918, World War II, the Vietnam War, segregation, discrimination, racism, riots, poverty, and sexism. She also lived to see extraordinary advancements in science like space travel, technological advancements such as the television, microwave, computer and smart phone. She witnessed the advancement of African Americans in film, music, business and politics. She was overjoyed to see Barack Obama elected as the 1st African American president. She was one of the few African American Centenarians.
Rannie met and married James Strayhorn, and that union produced six children.
In 1947 when Rannie’s husband died, she and her children moved to New York where she worked as a Nursing Assistant. Later, Rannie met and married Julio Gomez.
Rannie really enjoyed when the family came together for special occasions. Rannie was a very witty and feisty woman who was able to speak her mind until the very end.
One of her favorite things to do was attend “The Church of Resurrection” where she was one of the church’s first and oldest members. Whenever she was present, everyone wanted to take time to listen to her wisdom and enjoy her sense of humor and constant encouragement.
Rannie lived on her own until she was 97 years old where she then moved in with her daughter, Alice Kiah, who took care of her for the next six years. Even at 97 years and up until two months before her home going, Rannie was still able to feed herself and walk with the assistance of a walker.
Rannie loved music of all genres, but gospel was her favorite along with listening to the bible.
There was not a day that you would see her without her infamous chewing tobacco, and let’s not forget that whenever the family would gather, she might just whisper in your ear, “Get me a drink.”
Four of Rannie’s sons, James McKinley, James Jr., Bobby and Dan Clifton preceded her in death.
Rannie is survived by her two daughters, Lovely Mae Joseph and Alice Kiah. She also leaves to mourn thirteen grandchildren, twenty-eight great-grandchildren, and many more. Rannie lived to see six generations of family and considered that to be a tremendous blessing. She also loved Tom Webber and thought of him as her Godson.
Rannie leaves behind many strong men, woman, and children to continue her legacy.