Annie Ruth Broadnax was born October 11, 1931 in Russell County, Alabama. She was the first of seven children born to Rev. King David, Sr. and Mrs. Lorise (Thornton) Broadnax. She peacefully traded time for eternity on the evening of June 7, 2018.
Sis. Broadnax accepted Jesus as her personal Savior at an early age and joined Liberty Hill Baptist Church of Phenix City, Alabama where her father was an associate minister. She served in the Sunday School, Baptist Training Union (BTU) and on the Usher Board.
Sis. Broadnax was educated in the segregated Girard Public Schools. She graduated salutatorian from South Girard High School. Then God blessed her to attend one year at Clark College in Atlanta, GA (now Clark-Atlanta University). However, she returned home after that year to work and help her family.
In February 1953, Sis. Broadnax married Airman James Austin and began her service to America as an Air Force wife. Six children were born to their union. They raised their children in many locations across the country and around the world, including: Lyon, France; Phenix City, AL; Langley, VA; Newburgh, NY; Savannah, GA; Tachikawa, Yakota and Kanto Mura, Japan; Ft. Custer and Battle Creek, MI. Many times she performed the role of a single mother raising children in countries where the family did not speak or understand the language as her husband served on tours of duty. She volunteered with the Air Force Wives organizations on each base to which the Austin family was assigned. After the family settled in Battle Creek, Sis. Broadnax went to work at Dare Products, Inc. from which she retired after 29 years in 1997.
Sis. Broadnax enjoyed bowling, but her greatest joys came from being with, cooking for and supporting her family in every way she could. She attended every parent-teacher conference, awards ceremony, sporting event, recital, graduation, etc. for each of her children and every grand and great-grandchild if there was any way possible.
Being a strong woman of faith, Sis. Broadnax lived her love for Jesus. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School at Air Force Chapels. After settling in Battle Creek, she and her children joined Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. She faithfully served in the Sunday School, as a president and member of the Women’s Auxiliary, as church hostess and on the Senior Usher Board. After moving to Elgin, IL in late 1999, Sis. Broadnax joined Second Baptist Church of Elgin under the pastorate of Rev. Nathaniel Edmond. She served in the Ushers Ministry and attended Bible Study as long as her health permitted. However, nothing stopped her from studying her daily devotions and her Sunday School lessons. She was prepared to discuss, learn and share revelations from God regarding the lesson every Sunday.
Yet, Sis. Broadnax’s faith walk did not just consist of learning and talking. She was a “doer of the word and not a hearer only.” She taught her children to love, revere and follow God. She took them to Sunday School and church rather than send them. She trusted and followed God openly on life’s mountaintops and in the valleys. She showed and required love, respect and giving one’s best at all times. She repeatedly admonished her children, as the family moved around the country and world, “Y’all take care of each other because you’re all each other has.” Many were the times that her children heard her praying, singing and crying out to the Lord “Father, I stretch my hands to Thee; no other help I know!” while she worked around the house on Saturday mornings. At other times, hearing her break into singing phrases from “Because He Lives”, “Blessed Quietness” or other hymns was a common, comforting occurrence. However, the true mark of her faith in Jesus was her walking in total surrender to and absolute confidence in her God and His Word, even to her last breath. That is the eternal legacy that Sis. Annie Broadnax leaves to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and those who were blessed to have known her.
She was preceded to eternity by: her parents; two brothers, James and Rev. Otis C. Broadnax; three sisters, Jorise Taylor, Eunice Starke and Bobbie J. Nelams; one son-in-law, Samuel R. Macon; and one granddaughter, Kristin Jennings.
She leaves to cherish her memory and continue her legacy: her children, Cheryl Macon, Valerie (Tom) Jennings, Marvin (Tracy) Austin, Christopher Austin, Debora (Larry) Funches and Myra (Freddie) Rogers; 15 grandchildren, Catrina, Sean, Marcus, Martin, Corey, Char, Evan (Aubree), LaVarr, Faren, Leah, T.J., Trey, Shelby and Symone; 18 great-grandchildren: Austin, Charnele, Khaleb, Jaren, Autumn, Kijah, Adrienne, Corey, Jr., Tazeon, Jaye, Braylen, Rylin, Ava, Alaya, Kenzington, Adrielle, Khloie and Kalise; one brother, King David Broadnax, Jr.; one sister-in-law, Dorothy Broadnax Reynolds and many nephews, nieces, cousins, “adopted” children & grandchildren, friends and her church family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to O'Connor-Leetz Funeral Home in Elgin. Visitation will be on Thursday, June 14 at Second Baptist Church of Elgin, 1280 Summit Street in Elgin, IL. from 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:00 p.m. and will be officiated by Reverend Dr. Nathaniel L. Edmond.
Interment will take place at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Phenix City, Alabama on Monday, June 18, 2018.