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Mary Voncille Sims Brown

(DALLAS, Ga.) Mary Voncille “Bonnie” Sims Brown, formerly of Roanoke, peacefully drew her last breath on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, surrounded by family and friends at her home in Dallas, Ga., after a lengthy battle with chronic illness complicated by a recent cancer diagnosis. It would be wrong to say she lost her battle because she never stopped fighting. When many would have broken, she was resilient and persevered. She was 75 years old.

A Randolph County native, Voncille was born Sept. 14, 1946, and was the daughter of the late Walter B. Sims, Thelma Burke and Jimmy Barrett. She was the eldest of 12 and began forming her strong work ethic early on helping around the house, with her younger siblings and cousins, or working the family farm. She had a love of learning and always enjoyed school, especially history and math. She talked often with her grandson of how she enjoyed playing basketball during her school years. Voncille’s most treasured childhood pastime was playing in her grandfather’s creek known as High Shoals. She loved telling the family history of the land. Her early work explorations took her through many industries and towns, from Baby John’s Lounge and bus stations to heavy equipment operating in construction, record stores and cosmetics to Jr. Foods, management and sales all the way from Huguley to Atlanta and many places in between. As much as she loved city life, she learned quickly that it was not the daily life she wanted for her family. She moved back home to Roanoke after becoming pregnant with her eldest though she would frequently return with her children for visits to showcase the things she loved. She eventually settled on the textile industry and made her career at Candlewick Yarns Dixie Group for close to 30 years, finally ending her work journey as supply coordinator.

She loved everyone and loved them with her whole heart though her greatest love was her family. She was a proud mother of her three children. Affectionately referred to as “Mamacille” by those closest to her, her family was the pride and joy of her life. Throughout her life she held many jobs and many titles, yet none were more significant to her than the title of “Mama,” “Mother” and “Mamacille.” Always opening her heart for one more, she embraced a host of children and grandchildren as her own. Family togetherness was a priority no matter how long she toiled, at times until after midnight, only to come home and prepare a feast for her family and anyone else who may be hungry to enjoy the next day. There was always more than enough, no matter how many came, and delivery plates were delivered for those who would be alone and could not make it.

In her younger years, Voncille divided her free time among many avenues. A confidant to many, she always had a listening ear and offered pearls of wisdom and guidance that almost always included “Did you pray about it?” and a reminder “Don’t sweat the small stuff and everything is small stuff.”

She was generous to a fault and shined in philanthropic work. She was definitely someone you wanted on your team. Fundraising was a strong suit and she always encouraged everyone to give a little something when someone had a need. Always willing to help, she was a former volunteer with Girl Scouts of America, Chattahoochee Hospice and the Randolph County Literacy Program to name a few. Despite her many sacrifices, she never wavered in the joy and goodness serving brought her.

Voncille found pleasure in varying arenas. In her former years, it was reading, fishing, traveling, auctions, music, cards, walking and family. Her later days were filled with joy by food, flowers (especially yellow roses), soap operas, sitcoms, solitaire, visitors and her Granddarlins.

Voncille is survived by her children, Wendy and Brad Wofford of Opelika, Larry Brown and Darlene Ferrell of Moreland, Ga., She’Na and Zachry Cain of Dallas, Ga.; her granddarlins, Brooklyn and Breelyn Wofford of Opelika, Courtney Brown of Roanoke, and Jason Cain of Dallas, Ga.; her teacup Yorkie, Bentley Brown; two sisters, Regina Sears (Tommy) of Arlington Heights, Ill., and Dorothy Hill of Alex City; five brothers, George Barrett (Nancy) of Newell, Henry Lee Davis (Gladys) of Dadeville, Glenn Sims and Jessie Sims of Sylacauga and Ricky Sims (Nora Jean) of Alex City; former spouse, Grover Brown Jr. of Five Points; aunt, Lois Wilson, countless cousins, nieces, nephews and those she loved as her own, especially Clay Sprayberry. She was predeceased by her parents; grandson, Zachery Brown; and brothers, Richard Sims, Herman Sims, Edward Barrett, D. Walter Sims and Waymon Sims.

A casual celebration of life for Voncille “Bonnie” Brown will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, at Burns Lake House, 5963 County Rd. 67, Wedowee. The family would love for you to stop by and share with them during this time. Voncille will be laid to rest in a private family ceremony at Rock Springs Church in Roanoke.

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Remembrances may be made in the form desired by friends though one of her favorite causes was St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Mary Voncille Sims Brown

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