Lillian Nanelle (Nan) Bragg, 88, of Livonia Michigan passed away on Thursday, November 26, 2020. Nan faced many medical issues in her final years including dementia.
She was born on May 8, 1932, Mother’s Day, the first-born child of Nathaniel and Lilla Lang. She graduated from Dudley High School (Dudley, Ga) in 1949. In 1953, Nan graduated from Emory University School of Nursing (Atlanta, GA).
She enjoyed her work as a public health nurse. In 1960, Nan completed a Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While in seminary she met a charming Texan, who swept her off her feet. Nan was married to Eugene on June 15, 1963 in Gainesville Georgia. They enjoyed 57 years of marriage.
Nan’s life was based on service. She dedicated her life to faithfully serving her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through her work. First as a nurse, then a nursing instructor. In the 1960’s responding to a need in her church, Nan learned sign language to interpret the music and message for deaf members. This led to a 30-year career as a missionary to the deaf; she is solely responsible for starting deaf ministries in countless Southern Baptist churches across the state of Michigan. Aside from her nursing and sign language work, she also became a certified substance abuse counselor. She was instrumental in the foundation of a S.A.F.E. (Setting Addicts Free Eternally) ministry at her church and directed the program for decades.
Nan’s free time pursuits were as broad as her service work.
Rarely was Nan’s lap empty; being filled with a dog, a book, a knitting/sewing project, or the Bible. She was a wonderful mother and very involved in her children’s activities, from Girl Scouts to piano recitals. Family trips were always a highlight, and “Deaf Camp” at Bambi Lake each June was the pinnacle of her dedication to the deaf ministry. She taught Sunday School for years, and especially enjoyed working with the youth group at her church. Summer months would find her working in the garden, tending to her rose bushes and herb beds. Always one to be dressed for the occasion, it was rare to see her without accessorizing jewelry, nail polish, and of course, a cup of coffee in hand.
Nan is survived by her devoted husband Eugene, as well as her loving children; son Brian (Joanne), and daughter Brenda (David), four grandchildren, Avery, Norah, Connor, and Trevor, as well as her sister, Natalie Brown. Nan is preceded in death by her parents.
A life well lived, Nan’s family is at peace, knowing she is accepting her heavenly reward with her maker. She has been received and restored in her heavenly home and has been set free of the constrains afflicting her in her final years. A blessing to many during her time on Earth, the grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is now hers.
Due to Covid-19 and out of an abundance of caution for the health and well-being of family and friends, a small, outdoor graveside service will be held on Saturday, 11/28/20 at Knollwood Cemetery in Canton, MI. The family hopes to hold a memorial service for a larger capacity at a later date.
Proverbs 31:26: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”