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Feb. 16, 1917-May 24, 2012

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Vanzelee Matthews Wooten Ashford entered this world Feb. 16, 1917, to the late Willie, Ardealia Baldwin Matthews and Maggie Greenfield Matthews, and departed May 24, 2012.

She was the oldest of 10 children.

Six siblings preceded her in death, Thelma Matthews Kennon, James Robert Matthews, Ardealia Matthews Coley, George Matthews, Loree Matthews Durham and Willie "Bill" Matthews Jr.

She was reared in the Elroy community, and resided in Goldsboro for many years with her husband, the late James Peter Wooten. To this union was born one daughter, Eleanor Jeanne Wooten Davis.

After his death, she went to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Lessie Davis, in Massapequa, Long Island, N.Y.

After she received Christ as her personal savior, Ma Van, as she was so fondly called, was a faithful member of Saint Delight United Holiness Church in Parkstown in LaGrange for many many years. She loved the Lord and was not shy in sharing his love with others. She served as mother of the church, flower-club ministry, missionary ministry, choir member and youth leader. She loved young people and gave leadership and motherly love to many.

Later, she married the late elder Adolph Ashford. Under his pastoral leadership, she was the first lady of Mount Pleasant United Holiness Church in Snow Hill. After his death, she went to live with her daughter and son-in-law in West Melbourne, Fla.

She was a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Melbourne, Fla., and a mother to many where the Rev. Nathaniel Harris is pastor. Pastor and sister Harris and the Macedonia Church family were a second family to her.

She was loved and cared for by special members and close friends, Ruby and Roy Stewart, Helene and Debbie Saunders, her deacon Ricky and Kathy Gaines, deacon Howard and Connie Cummings and many, many others.

Her niece, Oteria B. Bell; grandnieces, Melotta Hill and Danielle Bell; and nephew, Mel Ott Battle, did special things for her to help live a little longer.

She leaves to cherish the memory of her life daughters, E. Jeanne Davis (Lessie) of West Melbourne, Fla., pastor Shirley Ashford Tyson of Palm Bay, Fla., Angalen Ashford Walton (Henry) of Insker, Mich., Lila Pearl Ashford Quinn of Mount Olive and Helene McDowell (Joe) of Goldsboro; godsons, James Earl Johnson of Goldsboro and Lt. Carl Mason of Colorado; goddaugther, Twala Hope Jones of Goldsboro; two sisters, Elnora Matthews Vinson and Edna Matthews Battle of Goldsboro; a brother, Willard "Dock" Matthews; six sisters-in-law, Georgia Wooten Musgrave of Dudley, Ester Wooten Parks of LaGrange, Annie Matthews, Doris Matthews, Shirley Perry and Mattie Flanigan of Goldsboro; and a host of grandchildren, great-grands, nieces, nephews, godchildren and others relatives and friends.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Tim. 4:7)

Her loving presence in our family will truly be missed.


Published in Obituaries on May 30, 2012 1:50 PM