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Josephine Stemley Berry, native of Evergreen

Josephine Stemley Berry was born March 31, 1931 in Evergreen, LA.

She died at home on May 5, 2020 with her children by her side. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She was baptized at Golden Chain Church by the late Rev. Butler in Indian Bayou.

Sister Josephine was educated in Avoyelles Parish School System. In 1945 after relocating to New Orleans, LA, she continued her education at Booker T. Washington Senior High School. Sister Berry loved the Lord and eventually joined Tulane Avenue Baptist Church located at 1719 Tulane Ave., along with her family. While at Tulane Sister Josephine joined Tulane Moderns Club, Young Mothers and others Mission Circle, Martha Washington Mission Society-under the Leadership of the late Rev. K. Alfred Sloans, Jr. Once the church moved to 3601 Paris Ave. Sister Berry continued her missionary work participating in Senior Ministry, Women of Purpose, presently under the leadership of Rev. Ross M. Johnson, Jr. Sister Berry was a faithful member that loved her pastor, members and friends.

Sister Berry was a very good homemaker; she had a passion for sewing and loved making her children clothes. She also enjoyed helping others and cooking for the kitchen she controlled at the Peacock Lounge. She was also employed by Katz & Bestaf Drug Store, Watkin Restaurant, D.H. Holmes and Dillard Department Store until she retired. Sister Berry was the daughter of the late Felton Frank Stemley and the late Elvira Franklin Stemley.

She was blessed to have 12 siblings in which she leaves to cherish her memories Bernice Williams, George Stemley, Ester Braxton, Julia Stemley, Gezeria Stemley and one brother-in-law Clarence Jourdan. She was preceded in death by Felton Stemley, Thelma Brown, Joyce Moore, Gloria Franklin, Edward Stemley, Freddie Mae Jackson and Lewis Stemley. Josephine Stemley Berry met the Love of her life, Arthur Berry Jr. to whom she married. To this union, seven children were born, in which two of them preceded her in death Ronald and Donald Berry.

She leaves to cherish her precious memories to Gilbert, Byron, Alvin (Betty), Vanessa McKnight, Andrea B. Nicholas and one son-in-law, Martin J. Nicholas. Sister Berry is also loved by her grandsons Ronald Berry, Jr., Tyrone McKnight, Jerome White, Gilbert Berry, Jr. and one granddaughter Istmenia Berry. Her great-grandchildren Armon McKnight, Matthew Berry, Simon and Gavin Berry, Aniya Allen, Semaj Berry, Tiye McKnight, Cameron McKnight and Brandon Clark.

Sister Berry would like to give special thanks to Betty Hawkins, who has been family and a great help in my care. Her love for her family was unsurpassed by all of Josephine's spirit of humility and compassion will long be remembered. Due to the Government Social Distancing Guidelines, the family held a private ceremony on Friday, May 15, 2020 at Greater Tulane Memorial Baptist Church, 3601 Paris Ave., New Orleans LA. Please visit to sign guestbook, leave well wishes, share memories and condolences for family. Arrangements entrusted to Rhodes Funeral Home New Orleans, LA.


105 N Main St
Marksville, LA 71351
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