Elvia Johnson Vann was born on July 15th 1917 to Dovie Switzer-Johnson and Ed Johnson in Morrilton, Arkansas. She grew up in Solgohaxia, Arkansas, a nearby town. She was the pride and joy to her great grandfather Liam Switzer who soon would become her main caregiver and support. He loved and cherished her until his death when Elvia was five years old. She later went to live with her grandparents William Switzer and Della Gunnels Switzer who raised her until she was a teenager.
Elvia was taught early in life to trust and believe in God. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was born again. She attended Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Solgohaxia. She often spoke about how strong the Holy Spirit was alive in that church. She would say when you went to her church you didn’t leave out the same, and her life was never the same.
She had many friends who called on her for encouragement and wisdom. She would be on the phone for hours sharing God's word. She was highly respected by her friends and family as knowing the Word of God.
Elvia and her brother moved to Tulsa, OK when they were teenagers. They were reunited with their mother. There, Elvia attended Carver High School.
She later met Mitchel Edwards and of that union her first child was born, Barbara Jean. Two years later her second child was born, Billie Faye. Elvia later moved to Ft. Smith, Arkansas in 1941, where she met and married her husband Percy Vann Sr. To that union two children were born; Sundra Kay and Percy Vann Jr.; step son Bobbie Vann.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Percy Vann Sr., her step son Bobbie Vann, her daughter Billie Faye, her grandson Dwight Clark, Eddie Vann and Ronald Craig.
She leaves to cherish eleven grandchildren; Dwight Clark, Tyrone Dinkins of Tulsa (Dianna); Ramona Mathis of Tulsa, OK (Reginald); William Craig, Ronald Craig, June Craig all of Detroit, MI., Ebony Vann of Indianapolis, IN, Eddie Vann; Miesha Vann of Nashville, TN. She leaves 13 great grandchildren and 14 great great grandchildren. She also leaves to cherish her brother’s children , Eddie Choates, Kenneth Johnson, Roy Lee Johnson, Alexis Paris, Dovie Johnson, Willene Jefferson and Della Johnson, and all their children and cousins and dear friends.
She departed this life on Thursday, November 26 at St. Mary's Hospital in Livona, Michigan.
Funeral will be Monday, December 7, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at First Missionary Baptist Church with burial at Fort Smith National Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Deacons of First Missionary Baptist Church while the family will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Viewing will be Sunday, December 6, 2015, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. at the funeral home.