December 11, 1925 - June 29, 2020
Jewell Mae Dula Simms Riley was born into this world on December 12th, 1925 in Ellendale, North Carolina, to Roam Dula and Bessie Pennell. Jewell would Marry Kenneth E. Simms and have four sons; Kenneth, Garry, Larry and Ronald. Jewell and Kenneth owned & operated Grandpas Meats where she would become a legendary saleswoman, earning the title of “The Jerky Lady”. Many also simply called her Grandma. After Kenneth I passed, she later remarried Paul Tom “Pops” Riley. These two marriages gave rise to quite the legacy: Jewell’s HUGE family. She is survived by sons Kenneth II (Victoria) & Ronald, step son Dave (Bing), as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren! Quite the matriarch! And she earned every bit of it. She is also survived by two sisters Ruby & Bonnie, along with nieces, nephews, and cousins. There is no denying she loves her family eternally, always telling everyone “I love all y’all” up into her final moments. It’s no surprise that Jewell could cook like no tomorrow, with her southern farmer roots. I doubt anyone in the family can think of biscuits and gravy without thinking of Grandma. It seemed she was always ready to feed an army, and with her impressive friend & family base, she often did. Whether it was Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, or simply time for breakfast, she always laid out an incredible spread to feed everyone, which she loved doing. Jewell was a local celebrity, perhaps equally for her jerky and her karaoke skills, depending on who you’re talking to. She traveled all over California and into Nevada to sell Grandpa’s meats, particularly the jerky she always had samples of. As much as she enjoyed traveling and selling to her customers, some of her most joyous moments were at the Saddlerack, the Moose Lodge, or anywhere else where she & her friends could gather for some karaoke. If you’ve watched Grandma sing, chances are you’ve heard Midnight Special or The Breeze, if not both. She rocked both of them even at the age of 94! Grandma had an undeniable love for music, and when she wasn’t singing she was dancing. She loved watching her son, Ken, perform with his band wherever he was playing. Her face would light up the whole place when he would dedicate a song to her and she’d proudly stand up & wave at everyone to make sure they knew she was his mom. But no matter where or how Grandma met the people she knew and loved, she brought all of them a smile, at the very least, and a wonderful, loyal friendship they would cherish forever, at the very most. Above all, Grandma was and is known for her positive light, selfless nature, limitless love, and her huge heart, big enough for all of her loved ones. Her values had roots in her love of God & Jesus. She attended church regularly and held the Bible in high regards. She was always thanking God for blessing her with a long, wonderful life. And I think I speak for all of us when I thank him for the same. “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. “ -Psalm 23. Rest In Peace, our sweet “Jewell”. To ensure the health and safety of our community, we are following all guidelines set by local, state and CDC officials. If you are planning on attending a service, please contact the funeral home in advance, so that we can plan accordingly.
Jewell Mae Dula Simms Riley was born into this world on December 12th, 1925 in Ellendale, North Carolina, to Roam Dula and Bessie Pennell. Jewell would Marry Kenneth E. Simms and have four sons; Kenneth, Garry, Larry and Ronald. Jewell and Kenneth... View Obituary & Service Information
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