John Rich’s Grandmother Cleda Ann ‘Granny’ Rich Dies at 88
John Rich of Big & Rich fame is mourning the loss of his beloved grandmother, Cleda Ann "Granny" Rich. The singer-songwriter turned to social media on Tuesday afternoon (July 28) to reveal that his grandmother had died a month after suffering a stroke.
"I lost a giant of a lady in my life today," Rich writes. "Granny Rich went to be with Jesus after battling hard for a month from a stroke. She was a Mother to me, and I'll strive to live up to her example."
"She was strong, funny, caring and an unapologetic American to the end," he states, adding the hashtag #RIPGrannyRich along with a black-and-white photograph of his grandmother.
Cleda Ann Rich was known to Rich's fans as Granny Rich, the inspiration for his whiskey line, Granny Rich Reserve. Born in Pampa, Texas, on Feb. 14, 1932, she celebrated her 87th birthday in 2019 by attending the launch of the 86-proof whiskey at a bar in Nashville, where her famous grandson proudly told the crowd that she still worked 40 hours a week at her alterations shop in the small rural town of Ashland City, Tenn., outside of Nashville. In fact, she sewed his stage costumes from his early days as a member of Lonestar on.
“She’s the epitome of ‘work hard, play hard,’” Rich said (quote via Billboard), adding, “My Granny Rich has lived through the Dust Bowl days, the Great Depression and World War II. Through it all, she’s remained a work hard, play hard, freedom-loving woman.”
“It’s what you get up for every day,” Cleda Ann Rich said of working so far past the usual age of retirement. “If you’ve got a job to do that you enjoy doing, it’s so much more fun than it is to sit in the house and look at four walls. I’d be dead and gone if I did that but here I am.”
"She is an inspiration to me and anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her and will be sorely missed," John Rich states in a press release Tuesday night. "She gave her life to Jesus many decades ago, so I have peace in knowing she is now in the arms of Jesus. I'm sure there's a line of angels waiting on her to sew some golden thread into their heavenly apparel! Rest in peace, Granny. You will always be 'the Queen of the working class.' Job well done."
Funeral plans for Cleda Ann Rich have not yet been announced.
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