When Abby Elliott, who was at Julian Peeples Funeral Home cutting her deceased uncle's hair last week, learned a young woman at the funeral home was also in need of hair styling, her spirit of generosity moved her to assist that individual, too.
The world needs more people like Elliott, said Dan Peeples, vice president of Julian Peeples Funeral Homes.
"It’s rare in today’s world to see someone who cares for a person that they do not even know," he said.
The deceased 30-year-old-woman didn't have a hair dresser, and her family had asked Peeples to "just comb it the best I could," but Elliott elected to stay and devote her time and energy to the process, Peeples said. In fact, she said she'd be honored to re-wash, cut, comb and "style this young wife and mother’s hair so that the family could see her look beautiful one final time before laying her to rest."
"It was the kindest and sweetest gesture I have seen in" some time, especially considering Elliott didn't know the person, the amount of time she spent and her refusal to accept any compensation, he said.
"I said to her as she left our funeral home 'I can tell from your loving, kind spirit for others that you go to Salem Baptist Church,''' to which Elliott smiled and nodded her head.
At Salem Baptist, Elliott is "very involved," particularly with ministry for children, and "she has a wonderful servant's heart," said Byron Brackett, Salem Baptist's family and discipleship pastor. "She's giving, caring and thoughtful in boundless ways."
Coincidentally, Elliott is set to begin teaching at Varnell Elementary, and the deceased mother's children also attend school there, Peeples said. In fact, one of her children commented to Elliott how beautiful his mother looked, not knowing Elliott was the one who did her hair.
Elliott had a successful hair styling business, but she felt called to educate children, and she continued her education so she could be certified to teach, Brackett said.
"She is following her heart, and I can't think of anyone better qualified for the (Citizen of the Week) honor," Brackett said.
For her selflessness, thoughtfulness and graciousness, the Daily Citizen-News names Abby Elliott its Citizen of the Week.