Doris Frances Naman Ola, 96, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Greenwood, with Father Jose de Jesus Sanchez officiating. A visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 1 p.m. at the church.
Doris was born in Brewton, Alabama, on Jan. 20, 1923, one of 11 brothers and sisters. She graduated from Bishop Toolen Catholic High School with honors. She then attended Huffstetler Business College in Mobile, which prepared her for an important wartime position with the Maritime Commission in Mobile in the accounting department. She was the only employee to hold that position without being bonded.
World War II was one of the most impactful periods of Doris’ early life. Five of her brothers served in the Armed Forces at the same time. Doris helped to keep things running at work and at home while they were scattered across the globe. She frequently shared stories of how their strong Catholic faith held her family together until the day they all returned home safely.
Then she met Francis Ola and fell in love. They moved to Greenwood, where she worked for the government in soil conservation for several years. She and Francis then opened Ola’s Shoe Store, which was a big success for over 60 years. She worked and lived with joy for her husband, children and grandchildren and gave them unconditional love. They returned her love with great gratitude and happiness.
Doris was a woman of deep faith in the Lord. She loved Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and helped in many areas of service. She was a member of the Madonna prayer group and also enjoyed volunteering for Cottonlandia Museum. She helped with many of her children’s school activities and was room mother many times. Cooking and baking were some of the favorite ways she served others. She enjoyed watching her kids and grandkids play sports and do dancing and cheerleading. She was named Mother of the Year in Greenwood in 1985.
She is survived by her brother Dr. Louis Naman and his wife, Marsha; her brother Tony Naman; and her sisters Mabel Naman Elias and Eloise Naman Fadella. She was preceded in death by her sisters Amelia Naman and Elizabeth Naman; her brothers Emile and wife Virginia, Alfred and wife Loretta and Joe and Evelyn; and sister-in-law Cecelia. She is also survived by her children, Elizabeth and Frank Martin, Mary Helen and Rogers Varner, Anthony and Shannon Ola, and Johnny and Robin Ola; her grandchildren, Henry and Frances Varner, Anthony and Mary Katherine Ola, and Katie and Travis Ola; and 43 nieces and nephews.
The family rests in the peace and sureness that she loved Jesus Christ as her savior and will joyfully be reunited with her beloved husband Francis and all her friends and family that preceded her.
The family would like to express its sincerest gratitude to Dr. William Jones, Dr. Thakur, Dr. Henry Flautt and all the staff on the 3rd floor Rehab Center at Greenwood Leflore Hospital. We want to give a special thank you to Alonda Jones, who gave so much personal care and attention to Doris.
Burial will follow the service at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Greenwood followed by a reception at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall. Pallbearers will be her grandsons Henry Varner, Francis Anthony Ola II and Travis Ola and her nephews Steve and Greg Elias and Edmond Naman. Honorary pallbearers will be Ronald Ola, Phil Ellis Jr., Chip Ford and Tracy Hansbrough.
The family asks that flowers or memorials be given to Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.
An online guestbook may be signed at www.greenwooddeltafh.com. Greenwood Delta Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.