Verlie May Sands Mitchell was born April 4, 1910 at Sycamore Grove on South Sylamore Creek, Stone County, Arkansas to Albert "Bert" and Rosetta Payne Sands. She went to her long awaited home on May 12, 2006 at the age of 96 years, one month and eight days.
When Verlie was a young child her family moved down South Sylamore Creek to the Gaylor Community.
During the summer of 1924 Verlie and his sister Celia rode one of their father's work mules and their father rode the other mule down Sylamore Creek to the swinging bridge area where two preachers by the names of Jefferson and Suggs were holding revival in a brush arbor. That night Verlie was gloriously saved. On the third Sunday in August 1924 she was baptised and joined the Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church where she remained a faithful and loyal member the remainder of her life.
She completed the eighth grade in the one-room Gaylor School, held in the same building as the church she attended. She loved to read and educated herself the rest of her life by reading. She had a good memory for what she read, and entertained her children hours on end telling them stories.
She met a young man by the name of Floyd Mitchell and they fell in love. She and her sister Celia rode their father's mules from the Gaylor Community over past Fifty-six to the home of Joe Bowers, a Justice of the Peace. He performed a double wedding ceremony for Floyd and Verlie, Asa and Celia by the side of the road in front of his house. This marriage lasted 57 years until Floyd's death in 1985.
Verlie and Floyd made their home over in what is now the national forest for a short period of time, then bought a small hillside farm back in the Gaylor community where they lived the remainder of their lives.
In due time Verlie and Floyd produced four daughters: JoAnn, Muriel, Gladys and Patsy. What they lacked in producing sons, their daughters made up for by producing 10 grandsons and 4 granddaughters: Lynn, David, Susan, Kathy and Mike Diffey; Vivian, Larry, Joey and Gail Holt; Johnny, Steve, Danny and Timmy Tinkle; and Allen Newcomb.
In 1988 she and one of her daughters flew to California on a jet airplane. In her lifetime she went from riding a mule to riding in a jet.
She was an avid gardner both by necessity and inclination and produced bountiful food for her family and neighbors.
She remembered when women won their right to vote and was careful to exercise that right.
She was a loving daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. She entertained strangers, washed the saints' feet and filled all the obligations of a helpmate and a virtuous woman.
She was preceded death by her husband, her parents, sisters; Fannie, Nora, Celia, Ethel and Frances and brothers; Oris and Albert, granddaughter; Gail Holt Smith, and sons-in-law; Milburn Diffey, Otto Holt and John Tinkle. She leaves behind to go on without her a sister; Edra Kendrick of Mountain View, daughters; JoAnn Diffey, Muriel Holt, Patsy Newcomb and husband Jerry of Fifty-Six and Gladys Tinkle of Mountain View, thirteen grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, friends and a wonderful church family.
Visitation is 1 - 3 p.m., Monday, May 15, 2006 at Roller Coffman Chapel in Mtn. View (870)269-3462.
Funeral service is 3 p.m., Monday, May 15, 2006 at Roller Coffman Chapel with David Diffey and Gary Ragland officiating and interment following in Fifty-Six Cemetery.
Pallbearers are grandchildren: Lynn Diffey, David Diffey, Mike Diffey, Kathy Smith, Larry Holt, Joey Holt, Vivian Shadwick, Johnny Tinkle, Steve Tinkle, Danny Tinkle and Allen Newcomb.
Memorials may be made to the Fifty Six Cemtery Fund.
Roller Coffman Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.