Cover photo for Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Small Simpson's Obituary
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Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Small Simpson

May 21, 1924 — February 4, 2024

Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Small Simpson


Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Small Simpson, 99, of Shaw and most recently of Cleveland, MS, passed away on February 4, 2024, while surrounded by family. 

A visitation will be held Thursday, February 8, 2024, from 10-11am at St. Luke United Methodist Church with a Celebration of Life Following at 11 am. Graveside Service will proceed at the Shaw Cemetery.

Bette was born on May 21, 1924, to C.E. Small Sr. and Mary Alno Grady Small in Lamison, Alabama. Shortly after, her family moved to Laurel, MS, where she spent her childhood. After graduating from high school, she attended Jones Junior College briefly, then Blue Mountain College, where she met Erin Turpin, Miriam Ferriss and June Cassibry. Erin and Miriam became teachers in Shaw and arranged an interview for Bette with Mr. Frank Hough, Superintendent there for thirty-five years.

 Bette taught first and third grades for three years. During that time, she met Jimmy, and they were married June 12, 1949. 

Bette had many talents. She loved gardening, knitting, antiquing, accessorizing, and doing the flowers for the Shaw Methodist Church for forty years. She was a wonderful mother and homemaker. 

Later in life she worked at the Fireside Shop with Clemmie Griffin for twenty-five plus years. She enjoyed several trips to England with Clemmie buying for the shop. She continued working there when it became Neysa's Fireside. She cherished the comradery with fellow employees. 

Her move to Cleveland in 2015 was uplifting in many ways. She embraced St. Luke Church, enjoyed seeing her friends more often and never looked back. St. Luke welcomed her with open arms. She especially enjoyed her Sunday School Class and was able to continue doing flowers for the church.

Bette's optimistic outlook was infectious. She laughed and smiled often and was kind and generous to all.

Bette is preceded in death by her parents, her husband James A. Simpson, brother Cyrus E. Small Jr., son-in-law Al Robinson, nieces Pattie Bennett and Jane Simpson, (David) Simpson, nephew Fred Allen Bell, nephew William Morley Thomas Jr., brother-in-law Guy (Jackie) Simpson, sister-in-law Mary Laura Simpson (Billy) Thomas and sister-in-law Helen Simpson (P.M.) Bennett.

Bette is survived by her two daughters Elizabeth Grady S. Robinson and Susan Perry Simpson (George Steen), nieces Laura Small (David) Wilborn, Laurie Simpson (Richard) Noble, Judi Simpson Bell, Mary Sue Simpson (Pat) Morgan, Sharon Bennett (Don) Pattillo and extended family.

The last few years of her life Bette was able to stay in her home with the help of these wonderful caregivers: Diane Fly, Betty Jean Jennings, Diane Brown, Shirley Swan, Shanice Johnson, Tray Cooper, Pat Walls, Yolanda Farrow, Ashley Dumas, Chandra Hunter and Magnolia Home Care (Karen Barr).

Pallbearers are Dennis Short, Dan Short, Jeffery Thompson, Coyt Hendon, Duke Morgan and Louis Radicioni.

Honorary pallbearers are James Paul Robinson, Emmette Simpson and Robert Heslep.

Memorials can be made to St. Luke United Methodist Church in Cleveland, MS, or an organization of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Small Simpson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation for Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Simpson

Thursday, February 8, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Luke United Methodist Church

1227 Deering St, Cleveland, MS 38732

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Simpson

Thursday, February 8, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Luke United Methodist Church

1227 Deering St, Cleveland, MS 38732

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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