John Rich is mourning his grandmother, Cleda Ann Rich, who passed away on July 28. Cleda Ann, known as "Granny Rich," was born Pampa, Texas on Feb. 14, 1932 and her grandson shared on Twitter that she died after suffering a stroke. "I lost a giant of a lady in my life today," Rich wrote on Tuesday. "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 shared several other tweets remembering Cleda Ann including a photo of his grandmother peeling an apple and wearing an apron that read, "Cookin' With Granny." "Those hands peeled apples, drove tractors, sewed clothes and worked through The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl Days and WWII," Rich wrote. "Granny loved to work and believed laziness was a sin! She was a thumper."
I lost a giant of a lady in my life today. 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. #RIPGrannyRich pic.twitter.com/JeiFN1kqFp— John Rich (@johnrich) July 28, 2020
In a statement, Rich praised his Granny Rich, highlighting her work ethic, faith and perseverance. "Granny Rich lived through the Great Depression, The Dust Bowl Days, WWII, and many bouts of personal struggles in her life but managed to always persevere and work toward a better future for herself and everyone she loved," the musician said. "She was a fierce Patriot and expressed her love for our country loud and clear. Her work ethic is legendary, as she ran her own business on her own terms up until one month before she passed away at 88 years of age."
Granny Rich didn't let Covid get her down...She still ran her business, carried on with her work and snuck a cocktail in every now and then...And swore she never colored her hair:) #RIPGrannyRich 1932-2020 #QueenOfTheWorkingClass https://t.co/Xn5fhizJlx— John Rich (@johnrich) July 28, 2020
Cleda Ann was a seamstress, and when she celebrated her 87th birthday in 2019 at a Nashville bar, Rich told the crowd that his grandmother still worked 40 hours a week at her alterations shop in Ashland City, Tennessee. Cleda Ann was the inspiration for Rich's whiskey line, Granny Rich Reserve.
"She is an inspiration to me and anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her and will be sorely missed," Rich's statement continued. "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."