Ina Pearl Craven McEvers, beloved wife, sister, mom, grandma, great grandma, passed away peacefully on October 7, 2019, at the age of 92 years old. Ina lived a long, fulfilled, and richly blessed life.
Ina Pearl Craven was born April 21, 1927, in the small community of Lawrence, Mississippi, to Charles Minist Craven and Liller May Humphrey Craven. Ina’s childhood in Lawrence was filled with family, church, school, and fun. As the 5th of 6 children, and the only daughter, Ina grew up a bit of a tomboy, playing with her brothers in the fields and forests of rural Mississippi.
Ina graduated from Newton High School in 1946, just as WWII was ending. After graduation, Ina moved to Meridian, the closest “large” town to Lawrence, and worked retail at both J.C. Penney's, and Sears. She also took bookkeeping classes, eventually becoming a Junior Bookkeeper for Motor Supplies, in Meridian. She belonged to Alpha Iota chapter of Epsilon Alpha, a businesswomen’s sorority, living with eight other girls in a big, beautiful sorority house in Meridian. She said they had the "best" time living together and enjoyed roller skating, movies, and square dancing.
In 1952, Ina's brother Elzie (Mike) moved to California and started a trucking company in Oakland. When he invited Ina to come to California, even volunteering to return to Mississippi and drive her back, she could not resist. She lived at the Blue Triangle Club, an all women’s dormitory in Oakland right off of Lake Merritt and worked for Maytag West Coast.
One day, while visiting her brother, Ina met a nice young man named Donald McEvers. He was a trucker for her brothers’ company. Apparently, they really hit it off, because Don and Ina were married on January 17, 1953 at Montclair Methodist Church in Oakland. They spent their early years of marriage walking and boating around Lake Merritt and taking the ferry to Larkspur to go dancing at the outdoor pavilion. In 1957, they bought their first home in Hayward where they lived for 53 years and raised their family. They were married 64 years at the time of Don's passing in 2017.
Ina loved being a wife and mom and kept busy raising 3 children and supporting our many school and organization's activities; Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Rainbow Girls. She was a long time, very active member of Wesley United Methodist Church. She was a member of the United Methodist Women's group, helped with the church nursery school, taught Sunday school, and always supported fund raising efforts. In her spare time, she took up bowling for a year or two. She was an advocate for healthy eating before it became popular. No salt, butter or sugar in her home! In the past couple of years, Ina took up yoga to stay young and healthy.
In order to bring in a little extra household income, Ina became an Avon lady in the early 1960s. She and her daughters would work together to get all the orders assembled and ready for delivery. In 1966, Ina went to work at J.C Penney's, again. She worked in the purse department and retired after 20 years of employment. She loved her job!
One of Ina’s greatest joys was sending and receiving cards. She loved to go to Hallmark and spend time looking for just the perfect card for that special person. Anniversaries, Birthdays, a thought of thanks or thinking about you, were all celebrated with a card to both family and friends near and far.
Ina loved a celebration. Anytime there was a get together, she was there, helping where she could. Birthdays, Graduations, Weddings, she was there encouraging and enjoying her family. Ina would give the grandkids a J.C. Penney's gift bag for birthdays and Christmas. The kids would call these gift bags "the never-ending bags of gifts"! She attended her grandchildren's and great grandchildren's basketball, baseball, softball, and soccer games, dance recitals, cheerleading events, music concerts, and high school and college graduations.
Ina's greatest joys in life were her family. She is survived by her children; Terri (Rich), Debbie (Kevin), Bruce (Kathy); her grandchildren; John, Jason (Noelle), Jill (Trevor), Kaylee (Eric), Amanda, Megan, Hannah, Collin, and 10 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Billie Marie Craven and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, all her brothers and 4 sister-in-laws; L.C. (Beulah), Raymond (Velma), Charles (Louise), Mike (Sylvia) and Harley.
Mom, we love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!
A Celebration of Life will be held at South Hayward United Methodist Church, 628 Schafer Road, Hayward, CA on Tuesday, October 29th at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave. Floor 17, Chicago, IL. 60601 or alz.org.
To send flowers to Ina's family, please visit our floral section.