Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Velma Ruth Brownlee?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Velma's memory.
Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter
your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you
can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Velma Ruth Brownlee
March 18, 1937 ~ December 10, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
Velma Ruth Brownlee began this life on March 18th, 1937, born to the late Lois Johnson and late Lumma Henson.
She was the oldest of five. Velma graduated from Hopewell High School. She then attended Alcorn College, which is a HBCU land-grant institution in Lorman, MS, and pursued a degree in Elementary Education.
In 1959, Velma moved to Champaign, IL. She attended and graduated from the University of Illinois clerical program and worked as a Clerk Typist III. She retired after 30 years. She also graduated from Cosmology School and owned her own business as a licensed cosmetologist for close to fifty years. In her spare time, she was an Election Judge for almost 25 years.
Velma married Thiester Brownlee in 1997 in Champaign, IL.
She loved watching sports games with Theister and taking trips. She enjoyed making him smile.
Velma accepted Christ at an early age. She was a member of Mt. Olive for over 45 years. At Mt. Olive, she was a member of the choir for several years, member of the Mother Ministries for over 10 years and atended Bible Class. Her favorite biblical scripture was John 3:16.
Over the years Velma was involved in several activities. She was a member of the Western Bowl League for forty years plus and a long time member of the Douglass Park District Senior Group, where she
received Champaign Park District’s first annual 2016 Douglass LifetimeAward Outstanding Contribution Award. She had several hobbies which included baking and taking orders for her famous tea cake
cookies, quilting, knitting and making coasters. She made several quilts that received compliments from the Senior Group at the Douglass Center where she took the quilting classes.
She leaves to cherish her memory: her husband, Theister Brownlee; sister, Patricia Hunt; and, many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Willie Mae McGruder, Otis Lee Johnson and Finerst Johnson.
A celebration of life will commence at 12:00 noom Monday December 18, 2023 at Mount Olive Missionary Baptiat Church. A visitation will begin at 11:00 am until the time of the service. Burial will follow after at Lincoln Cemetery.