Services for Ms. Selma Simpkins Jones Verner were held at 1 p.m. on January 15, 2011 at St. Peter A.M.E .Church in Tunica, with burial in Lane Chapel Cemetery. Mrs. Verner was born October 17, 1915 to the late E. S. Simpkins and Mittie Hancock Simpkins in Robinsonville, Mississippi. The family later moved to Tunica.
She confessed a hope in Christ at the age of twelve and joined St. Peter A.M.E. Church. There she served as Sunday School Secretary, A.C.E. League President, Assistant Director of the choir and many other duties. In 1941 she moved to Memphis, TN and joined St. Andrew A.M.E. Church, where she served as a Steward Trustee, President of the Guardian Club, Teacher of Class No. 11 in the adult department of Sunday School, in the missionary department–Lilly of the Valley Club, Laymons and the Commission of Evangelism under the President Leona Owens.
In 1942 she was united in holy matrimony to the late Sam Jones, where they lived a beautiful life until death parted them in 1972.
Outside of her church, she was a very successful businesswoman. She and her husband Sam Jones owned and operated Selma Luncheonette for 24 years. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Chapter Beautiful Star #4, a member of the Court of Calanthe of the Knights of Pythias, a former assistant leader of the St. Andrews Girl Scouts, a member of the NAACP and the Little Sister to the Delta Sorority. After high school graduation she enrolled at Greggs Business College and also the Jasper W. Williams School of Religion. She was certified at each school. After the passing of her husband Sam Jones in 1972, she worked very faithfully as a dietitian at St. Andrew Day Care Center. Being the distinguished woman that she was, President Bill Clinton sent her a birthday card in 2000.
In 1979 she met Mr. Jack Verner of Tunica, MS. They were united in holy matrimony on July 6, 1980, another beautiful life together for 21 years before his passing on August 6, 2001. Her most cherished work was lending a helping hand to help someone. She rejoined St. Peter A.M.E. Church in 1988, where she served as a stewardess and assistant Sunday School teacher, Treasurer of the W.M.S. and just a willing worker. A beautiful life came to an end on January 3, 2011.
Family who preceded her death were her parents, her spouses, and one daughter, Kathleen Backus.
She leaves to cherish her precious memories: her sister Odessa Grant of Tunica, MS; four granddaughters, Vanessa Goodman (Patrick Gordon) and Nakia Isom, both of Tunica, MS; Hillary Backus of Atlanta, GA; and Jessica Backus of California; ten great grandchildren, Victor and Vincent Simpkins, Jasmine Parnell, Yasmine Bush, Wilburn Alexander, Jr., Tyrone Isom, Tierney and Timothy Lawerence, Emily Williams and Marlon Spencer; two great-great-grandchildren, Areunna Washington and Madysan Luster.; five step children, Herman (Mary) Verner, Curtis (Alice) Verner, Freddie Verner, Jack (Minnie) Verner and Marjorie Helm; twenty-five step-grandchildren, and 17 step-great-grandchildren; and many other family members and friends to cherish her memory. She also leaves special friends who called her mom and were very special to her: Mary Nichols, Lucille Clark Brown, Veronica Hibbler, Lillian Pollard, Latonia Daniel and Olivia Smith, and a very special nephew who took care of her in her final days, Johnnie Taylor.