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Obituary for VELMA SIMMONS-MATHIS
Velma Bacon Simmons Mathis was born on October 9th, 1933 and passed away peacefully/surrounded by love on April 12th, 2016 after battling Alzheimer’s. Velma was born in Edgefield SC to the late Lula Mae and James Bacon. She is survived by her husband Frank Mathis, her brother Willie Bacon, her three children Evelyn Gardner (husband, Garry) John Curtis Simmons (wife, Tammy) Denita Simmons and her devoted nieces Marian Moore-Johnson (husband, Irving), Betty Jean Norman, Danette Bacon and Givonia Callaham (husband, Gregory). Velma had five siblings who proceeded her in death, Sarah Moore, Elizabeth Gilchrist, Mary Simpkins, Alvira Moore and Hattie Morgan. Velma leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other relatives.
Velma graduated from Edgefield Academy in South Carolina. Shortly, after graduation she met and fell in love with John C. Simmons. They married in 1954 and left their small hometown of Edgefield for Washington DC, where they raised their three children and built their life together until John’s death in 1983. A devoted mother, she cherished her three children unconditionally. Velma worked for the District of Columbia school system and retired in 1995. Velma married Frank Mathis in 2003.
Velma was loving, humble and generous, always striving to follow the example of Christ. In 1967 Velma began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. She dedicated her life to serving Jehovah and was baptized in 1969. Velma loved the Bible and Ministering to others, sharing her hope of the Kingdom and helping the sick and the elderly. She was a loyal faithful servant of Jehovah for 47 years.
Velma led a very active life. In addition to her ministry, she loved to garden, walk, bike, horseback ride and travel. If she was indoors you would often find her in the kitchen cooking or baking delicious food for all to enjoy. Velma loved to crochet, if you knew her it is likely that you have one of her afghans, a hat or a scarf. She was hard-working and found joy in sharing the fruits of her labor, exemplifying the scripture, “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving”.
Velma’s belief in the promises outlined in the Bible were strong. She believed that this life is not all there is and she was certain that should she fall asleep in death, the promise that Jesus made in John 11:25 was true “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies will come to life”.