Queen Esther was born to Frank and Sarah Sims on December 19, 1921. She was named by the midwife (Katy). Queen, a fitting name for a strong woman who leaves a lasting legacy. She was the 2nd of 7 children (5 girls and 2 boys) of which preceded her in death. She was the “last warrior”. Though she didn’t graduate from high school, she lived by the Word of God. She was wise and understanding. As a child, Queen was baptized at Gum Spring Baptist Church in Farmerville, Louisiana.
Queen was married to Willis McMurray (deceased); from this union she had two children: Mary Helen (deceased) and Gwendolyn Patricia. Queen moved to California where she married James Coleman (deceased) and through this union Jacqueline and Vanessa Gayle were born. They started their life in Alameda, CA.
In California, she joined Bible Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland under Reverend O.P. Smith. She continued to worship there until she stopped driving at 89 years old. She was active with the youth, women’s ministry and Women’s Day Celebrations. Queen was also an active member of the Eastern Star and a founding member of the Yellow Orchid’s Social Club. However, Queen's priority was her family. She took pride in keeping an immaculately clean home and her children well dressed. Most of their clothes were made by Queen herself.
She cooked everything from scratch. Queen’s food was the best, not only delicious, but it had to have a certain appearance too. Her cakes, pies, potato salad, greens, hot water cornbread, tea cakes--you name it-- had to meet her standards of the right color and texture. She was a gifted homemaker until the end.
We thank God for our Queen who lived to be 99 years young and had good health and independence all her years. In 2019, she flew home to Louisiana to attend her last living brother’s funeral. This “last warrior” will surely be missed. She leaves to cherish her precious memories to daughters: Gwendolyn, Jacqueline and Vanessa; Son-in-Laws: Mark Sheard and Paul Hopkins; grandchildren: Duane, Jalil, Lamar, Lonzie II, Janae and Kimberly; great grandchildren; great-great grandchildren and many other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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