PORTSMOUTH — Family and friends gathered at the 14th Street Community Center on Sunday, Feb. 21, to celebrate the life of Mother Marie Elizabeth Shipp. Shipp recently recently turned 90, and was surprised by the celebration held in her honor.
The celebration was planned by her granddaughter, Gennifer Marie Davis and her mother, Sharon Davis. Her granddaughter, Ashley Scott of Columbus was the Mistress of ceremony for the special occasion.
Remarks were made by Deacon Al Oliver and a plaque presented by Mother Shipp’s church, Beulah Baptist Church. Mother Shipp has always been very active in our community and in the church. She attributes her youthfulness to walking every morning, seeing her doctor, regularly, and staying active in her church and community.
Sharon Davis, daughter in law of Shipp, said they desired to give Shipp her flowers while she could still enjoy them.
“Years ago, Mother Shipp worked alongside Dr. James F. Scott as a mid-wife and has helped delivered many of the guests at the party. “Welcome to Nelsonville” catered the party, with Gennifer Davis’ husband, Bryan Jones preparing an array of smoked meats,” Davis said. “The party was the first birthday party for Mother Shipp in her lifetime. We decided to make her queen for a day and give her “flowers” while she could still enjoy them.”
Shipp’s celebration was a beautiful illustration of an excerpt of a poem written by Leigh M. Hodges,”Give Them the Flowers Now Closed eyes can’t see the white roses, Cold hands can’t hold them, you know, Breath that is stilled can not gather The odors that sweet from them blow. Death, with a peace beyond dreaming, Its children of earth doth endow; Life is the time we can help them, So give them the flowers now! “
Special musical selections were provided by Elder Malone, Jesse Bowen, Talitha Malone Middleton, and Elder Ralph Clay.
It was apparent by the bright smile on Shipp’s face as she interacted with the guests, that she was overjoyed by the love shown to her by her family, church family, and friends.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.