Vernell Jenkins (Little) beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Friend, Neighbor and Confidant.
Vernell was born November 29th 1936, in Chadbourn North Carolina to Addie Jane Powell Little and William Patrick Little. She peacefully transitioned into eternal rest on August 24th, 2023 at the family home, surrounded by her loving children.
A Time to Love
Vernell was a devoted wife to her high school sweetheart Tillman Jenkins until his death, for 56 years; they joined in holy matrimony on July 6th, 1967.
A Time to Serve
Moms love for helping others was her passion. Her response to anyone was “What can I do for you?” She became a member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in the 1960’s. After retiring, Vernell was active in the church. She served on the Missionary Ministry until the time of her illness. She looked forward to serving and helping others by feeding the homeless.
A Time to Live
Vernell graduated from West Side High School, Chadbourn North Carolina class of 1955. She moved to Philadelphia after graduating high school. She worked at Betty Barkley as a seamstress. At home she would make clothes often using patterns. Her gift and talent for sewing and fashion, reflected in her elegant, classy, stylish, graceful and genuine personality. She moved to Boston in 1964. Once arriving in Boston she reflected fondly on a memory of her father bringing home a “doctor's bag” equipped with a stethoscope, because of this memory she always wanted to be a nurse. She decided to pursue her interest in nursing by working at Rogers Nursing Home as a Nursing Assistant. After working there for a number of years, she wanted to advance in the nursing field. She received her certification from the New England Medical Center Nursing Technician program. After receiving her certification, she began her career there. She worked on the cardiac inpatient floor. She enjoyed working with this population so much that cardiology remained her specialty for 30 years at Tufts New England Medical Center. Vernell retired at age 70 after many years of devoted nursing care.
She loved the outdoors, physical activity, especially walking, and would take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator to get her exercise. She enjoyed the fresh air, sitting on her front porch in her rocking chairs with her honey, “Tilma.” On most mornings, she could be found enjoying her coffee, greeting neighbors on their way to work and tending to her flowers. Vernell’s summers were spent in her vegetable garden where she would grow collards and tomatoes. When she harvested these veggies, they were shared with her family during Sunday dinner that was fully cooked prior to Sunday service. After arriving home from service it was tradition for Vernell to put the stove on low to warm the food, have the family change into comfy clothes, wash their hands and sit down for a delicious meal by 3:00 PM.
Vernell had a passion for cooking, especially during the holidays. She enjoyed Thanksgiving the most where everyone gathered at “Nana’s house” for dinner and quality time was a must. Laughter, good food and conversation with children, grandchildren and friends brought her the most joy. Preparation started weeks in advance. Once the menu was selected, and dishes were assigned she was off to the grocery store where she selected her ingredients methodically to ensure the most delicious dishes were shared. She made sure everyone’s requested specialty dish was prepared to perfection. Sweet Potatoes, potato salad, turnip and dressing were most requested. As she watched so full of joy as her family enjoyed the holiday dinner. She used this day to reflect on what she was most grateful for.
Her family and her home were her focus and her world. She nurtured, groomed, guided , educated and instilled values into her children and grandchildren. She loved and only wanted the best for them. She modeled what she taught. She enjoyed spending time with family the most.
Any event she could attend to support and celebrate she was there for every milestone big and small. She was so proud of every child and grandchild. Graduations, weddings, dance recitals, birthdays, pinning ceremonies she would not miss. Vernell (Nana, Ma, Vern, Vernell, Aunt Vernell, Mrs. Jenkins) was loved and cherished by so many, her spirit will live within all of us forever.
Mom will truly be missed but never forgotten
She leaves to cherish her memorable love, kindness, patience, sense of humor
Children: Terrace (Lillian) - Alexandria VA, Lynwood - (Family Home) Roxbury MA, Michael - Brockton MA, Rochelle - Brockton MA, Teila Baltimore, MD, Rosalyn - (preceded her in death)
Dear niece Saundra Owens-Skerrett (James) - Boston
Siblings :preceded her in death: Willi-Mae, Ernestine, Johnny
Grandchildren: Tabitha (Caleb), Chinor (Cynthia), Michele, Isaac, Dameon, Mykel, Simone, Bianca, Danielle, Elijah, Taylor, Jorden, Alima, Farhana
Great Grandchildren: Aja, Chinor II, Zacharias, Cayla, Ariyah, Immanuel, Mykel, Myles, DeAngelo, Christopher, Kaenen, Maximus
Great Great Grandchildren: Ian, Ila
Numerous and all special, extended family, church family, friends and neighbors
A special thank you to each and every person who cared for Mom
Sister Bettie Cutler (Caregiver) WE ADORE YOU FOR ALL YOU DO AND WHO YOU ARE.
Jennifer Johnson (Nurse),
Taylor Hughes (Patient Care Tech)
And a host of Care Dimension staff that took our numerous calls.