Mrs. Elaine Vivian Patrick Simelton was born June 20, 1924 in Eufaula, AL to Oscar and Amanda Patrick. She was a devoted wife to Eddie Hugh Simelton whom she met at Maxwell Airforce Base in Montgomery, AL. They were married December 13, 1944, moved to Hampton, VA and eventually made Tiplersville, MS their final earthly residence.
She was a strong proponent of education. A graduate of Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery, AL, she later attended Rust College in Holly Springs, MS. During the early years of her life, she taught at Ruckersville School in Falkner, MS. In the 1990’s, she retired from Tippah County Hospital.
Her Christian journey began at an early age in Eufaula, AL. After moving to Tippah County she united with Bethlehem Baptist Church and remained a faithful member until transitioning to her heavenly home. At Bethlehem, she served as Usher Board president, Baptist Training Union teacher, Sunday School teacher, Missionary leader, and Director of the Historical Room.
Her desire to serve the community led her to volunteer as a 4-H leader, work with the Good Samaritan Center, and for over 40 years was a tireless active member of Ruckersville Tippah County Development Club (TCDC).
She was a strong advocate for equality and justice. When three teenage girls became pregnant and were not permitted to register for school, she led a group of parents and concerned citizens in a successful effort for the girls to regain entry in school, continue their education, and graduate. She said, “The parents of these children are taxpayers in Tippah County and we intend for our children to finish their education and they should not be deprived of an opportunity to get an education because of a mistake.”
An avid gardener, she delighted in keeping the grounds of her home beautiful as well as the flower beds at the church and Ruckersville TCDC Community Center. She also enjoyed playing the piano for her family. One of her favorites was “Way Down South in Alabama”. A globetrotter, she visited many countries during her lifetime including England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.
She leaves to cherish her memory: five children- Lynn Simelton, Dr. Joyce Simelton, Carnell Simelton (Tijuana), Benard Simelton (Elaine), Miriam Anderson; a cousin, Alfonzo Patrick (Mary); fourteen grandchildren; twenty great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by: her parents, Amanda and Oscar Patrick; husband, Eddie Hugh Simelton; daughter, Deborah Simelton Banks; daughter-in-law, Julie Ann Simelton; grandson, Alpha Simelton; three sisters- Bertha Sanders, Minnie H and Ella Mae Wilson; special first cousins- John C. Patrick and Emmitt Patrick; and a loving Aunt, Ada Patrick, who reared her.
Visitation will be held Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 5pm-7pm at Foster & Son Funeral Home, Ripley, MS. Funeral services will be at 1 pm Friday, April 2, 2021, at Bethlehem MBC in Falkner, MS. The body will lie in state one hour prior to service at the church. Interment will follow at Ruckersville Cemetery, Falkner, MS.
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