She was a native of Nansemond County and was the baby girl of six children born to the union of the late James H. and Goldie Hicks Cowling. After her mother’s death, she quickly bonded with her stepmother, fondly called Mother Eunice. As a child, Mattie confessed her faith in Jesus and joined the Diamond Grove Baptist Church, where she was a faithful servant and later went on to be a member of the Senior Choir for many years.
She graduated from Nansemond County Public Schools. After graduating from Saint Paul’s College and securing a teaching position in Dinwiddie County, she married her late husband, Henry Rawls, on Oct. 18, 1952. She later continued her education and achieved a master’s degree from Hampton University while working as a teacher in the Suffolk City Schools. She retired as a reading specialist in 1988. Mattie was a member of the Salem Tent No. 61 and The Order of the Eastern Star No. 230, where she served as the secretary for 22 years.
Left to cherish her memory and to celebrate her life is her daughter, Lisa R. Mayes, of Virginia Beach; one brother, Charles B. Jordan, of Baltimore, Md.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, at Diamond Grove Baptist Church officiated by Dr. Calvin A. Lillard. Interment will be in Christian Home Church Cemetery, Windsor. The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at Crocker Funeral Home. Condolences may be extended to the family at www.crockerfuneralhome.com.