Velma Ann Fitzhugh Philyaw

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Velma Ann Fitzhugh Philyaw, 64, of Gosnell, passed away at her residence Friday, January 21, 2011.

Mrs. Philyaw was born in Oak Grove near Steele July 2, 1946, to William and Lola Smith Fitzhugh.

She was a loving daughter, sister, mother, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend, who was close to her mother, cherished her children and truly loved all her family. As a child she enjoyed playing soccer, softball and tennis. She was a model and always young at heart. As a mother she was a great cook, served as a Girl Scout leader and was always there for her children. She loved fishing, drives, going to the zoo, walks, going on vacations to beautiful places, the beach, dancing and just enjoying the moment. She was funny, full of life, independent, intuitive, resourceful, unique and loved to care for animals. Because she could see the beauty in that around her, she loved flowers, (especially lilacs) and music. Her smiling eyes, strength, gentleness, and Christian love inspired others. Her love for God, giving to those less fortunate and her respect for her heritage were her strengths. She was passionate, creative and had a beautiful voice. Her greatest assets were a strong heart, mind and soul. Those who really knew her were truly blessed. All her attributes will be carried forth in her family through generation after generation.

She leaves her husband, Joseph Christopher Philyaw; her ex-husband, Tom Matsumoto;

Her children, Clayton Matsumoto, Debbie Matsumoto Wickstrom, Kathryn Matsumoto, Susan Matsumoto Chipman and her husband, Curt, Stacy Matsumoto Hamby;

Her grandchildren, Christopher Hamby, Jacob Chipman, Laura Hamby, Ashley Hamby, Brandon Hamby, Daniel Wickstrom, Conner Chipman, Sarah Wickstrom;

Her great-grandchildren, Tori Hamby and Brooke Hamby;

Her siblings, Oneita Fitzhugh, Wanda Fitzhugh, Elva Spain, Wallace Fitzhugh, Geneva Branch, Lawrence Fitzhugh, Romona Hitchcock, Margrett Fitzhugh and Delmar Fitzhugh;

Many nieces, nephews, cousins;

Close friends, Barbra Sue, Mae Scott, Sue Knight and Nita Harris; and

A host of others.

A memorial service will be held at a later date for family and friends to pay their respects.