Jelene Watkins Brown
Jelene Watkins Brown of Columbia passed away into the loving and ready arms of her Lord and Savior on Sunday, March 11, 2018. She was 90 years old. She was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Watkins of Neshoba County, where she was raised.
A Celebration of Jelene Brown's life will be held on Thursday, March 15 at First Baptist Church of Columbia. Visitation will begin at noon and continue until her service at 2 p.m. On Friday, March 16 she will be carried back home to Dixon, Miss., to her final resting place. Graveside services will be held at 2:30 p.m. in Morrow Cemetery.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred J. Brown, with whom she was married to for almost 69 years. Others include her brother, Wendell Watkins; sisters, Edwina Webb, Jo Russell; and many beloved relatives.
Jelene's survivors include her children, Terry G. Brown of Columbia, Debba B. Betterton(Jerry) of Madison, and Craig Brown of Philadelphia; grandchildren, Merideth Brown of Columbia, Alison Weeks (Tim) of London, England, Jennifer McLendon( Brice) of Brandon, Paige Smith(James) of Madison, Dr. Craig Brown, Jr. of Elberta, Alabama, Dr. Ashley Bailey of Jackson, and Gracie Brown of Cullan, Alabama; great-grandchildren, Sam Weeks, Kit Weeks of London, England, Coby Smith, Parker Smith, and Tripp Smith of Madison, Olivia Brown and Adian Brown of Elberta, Alabama, Hartley Gunderson and Hannah Gunderson, and Turner Bailey of Jackson. Jelene was beloved by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her husband. She loved each and every one of them.
She was raised with a very strong work ethic on a working farm with a general store and a school bus her father bought to carry students to school. Occasionally, she drove the bus to school. In her youth, she played basketball, rode horses, loved swimming and enjoyed a large family.
Her first job was as a dental assistant for Dr. Porter Jordan in Philadelphia. After marrying, she worked for Southern Bell in Columbus, in the ‘60s as a telephone operator. In the early ‘70s, she began volunteering at Walthall County Hospital which turned into a long-term job in the X-ray department as the office manager. She stayed there for nearly 39 years and retired at the age of 83.
Jelene was an extraordinary cook and gardener. She was a big believer in “knowing your current events.” At any given time she knew all of the players of the current political scene. Raised not far from the Neshoba County fairgrounds, she loved to talk politics. Her house was a favorite for her grandchildren. Each one was special to her remembering them on all of their events, birthdays, etc. Her faith in God was ever present and her standards were unwavering.
A special thanks to all for the wonderful care she received in the last two years. Especially from her caregivers whom affectionately called her Miss J. They became a part of our family and loved her as we did.
Jelene was a giver to her family and to those who needed help. In fact, she lived for her family. A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson fits her, "To know even one life has breathed easier because [she] has lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Hathorn Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.