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Farewell to a Badass Role Model: Miss Etta Napier

Around 2:15 am on July 14th, I was awakened by the loudest clap of thunder and said to my husband, Tom, “There goes Miss Etta!” Several hours later, I learned from my friend, Kimberly, that her mom, Etta Napier, had indeed passed away around 2:15am. She was 101!


It was just about a year ago that I introduced Miss Etta to our readers in my column, Be a Badass at Any Age, which if you haven’t read, I hope you do so you get some sense of why this wise and wonderful woman meant so much to so many…and even then it doesn’t do her justice.

RIP Etta “MISS ETTA” Napier 2/22/1922 – 7/14/2023
RIP Etta “MISS ETTA” Napier 2/22/1922 – 7/14/2023

At 101, she was a beautiful woman. Her skin was luminous, like a rare pearl, and often the words, “People who shine from within don’t need a spotlight” would come to mind when we sat together.

Nancy Mendelson Hertelier

Unpretentious, accepting and completely genuine, she made everyone feel special--It was evident by the way she effortlessly gathered people around her. When I’d visit with her, she’d take my hand and hold onto it long after our conversation finished…and I loved that unspoken connection, something I shall sorely miss.


I’m told her last words were, “I’m ready to go where I’m going!” …a badass to the very end or beginning of her journey, depending how you look at it.

1 Comment


A great lady.

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