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VELMA LEE BREWER
VELMA LEE BREWER
Her Children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:28
We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from the lovely Velma Lee during her 84 years. Among them, the power of love, faith, family and prayer, finding joy
everyday no matter what the circumstances, helping those in need, showing kindness and uplifting people instead of tearing them down. Velma was a phenomenal woman, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She instilled in her children and grandchildren, that they could achieve whatever they set their minds to do and encouraged them to follow their dreams and never stop learning. “Keep On Keeping On!” were her favorite words of inspiration. Velma was born to Milton Porchia and Amanda Rhodes on March 11, 1933 in Stevens, Arkansas. The family relocated to Camden, Arkansas when she was a child and at the age of 18 she moved to San Francisco, California to live with her cousin, Classy Jenkins. Velma and Shirley Brewer, Jr. met at a dance and little did they know, theirs would be an extraordinary love. According to Shirley, it was love at first sight for him! They were married on
October 4, 1952 and began the adventures of 20 years of military life and travel. They started their family in August of 1953. Each of the five children they raised were born on a different Army base. Wherever they traveled, Velma enjoyed getting to know people from different backgrounds and cultures. With Velma’s personality and Shirley’s gift of gab, they met many friends along the way. She loved to have family outings to explore the region they lived in. One of her favorite places was Germany, where they were stationed for 2 ½ years.
When Shirley retired from the military they made their home in Sacramento, California to live near family and he began a 20-year career at the Post Office. Velma was the heart of our home and our family’s anchor. She was a talented seamstress and her passions were cooking and gardening. The family recipes she prepared from scratch were legendary and her beautiful flowers still bloom in her yard today. She
was a voracious reader and loved to discuss politics, history and our African heritage.
She supported the endless school activities their five children were involved in. From academic awards, to little league, to high school sports, to college football you could count on Velma to be sitting in the bleachers cheering her children on! When Velma and Shirley’s teenage son Raymond was tragically killed, she was the one who held our family together. In the face of her own grief, she comforted us and helped us put our shattered lives back together. Velma was known for her wisdom and great advice about life or one’s relationship. Long after her children had moved away their friends would still stop by to chat with her.
After 50 years of marriage the vows that Velma and Shirley made to each other were more sacred than ever. Velma had Alzheimer’s and Shirley promised her he would love, honor and cherish her even more. He went above and beyond his promise. Velma inspired us to live more and love more with purpose and joy. We were blessed that we were able to care for our beloved Velma at home. We were blessed that she still knew family and friends and she was able to communicate with her radiant smile and beautiful eyes that always sparkled with love. We were blessed by her amazing strength, courage and sweet spirit. All of the lessons Velma Lee taught us by example, all of the unconditional love and nurturing that she gave to us we were able to give back to her 100-fold!
Velma was preceded in death by three loving children Shirley Ann Brewer, Karen Brewer and Raymond Brewer; her beloved mother Amanda Rhodes and sister
Francella Porchia. She leaves to cherish her memory her devoted husband of 64 years, Shirley Brewer, Jr.; four loving children Stanford Brewer (Eleanor), TiAmani Diane Morrison, Frances Williams (Steven) and Barry Brewer; ten grandchildren Kevin Brewer (Cherylynne), Atija Byers (Miles), Jamila Brewer, Jamar Brewer, Courtney Jubrey (Clavon), Diamond Weaver, Garrett Brewer, Sakara Brewer, Spencer Brewer and Kiana Williams; eight great-grandchildren Ezekiel Brewer, Nyomi Brewer, Noelle Brewer, Isaiah Brewer, Deylan Brewer Smith, Brielle Byers, Chloe Jubrey and Kingston James Olson; nephews Macon Porchia, Sr. (Mirtice) and Fred
Porchia, Jr. (Cleo), cousins Genora (Polly) Hamilton and Ike Rhodes; sisters-in-law Clementine (Tina) Brewer and Linda Brewer and a host of nieces, nephews,
cousins, other relatives and friends.