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In Loving Memory

Vernie Cole


Sunrise March 3, 1951

Sunset October 29, 2020



Click to see Photo Slideshow of Vernie and family

Life Story


Vernie Mae Cole (Bunny) was born in Ridgeland, South Carolina on March 3, 1951, to Vincent Clavon Sr. and the late Evelena (Turner) Clavon. Vernie went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, October 29, 2020. 

Vernie along with her parents relocated to Philadelphia in 1953, where she was educated in the Philadelphia school system. Upon graduating from West Philadelphia High School, Vernie attended Berean Institute where she received her cosmetology license. Vernie accepted Christ at an early age and became a member of First Corinthian Baptist Church. There she was an avid member of the choir, usher board, and served on various committees. 

Vernie loved the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas were her favorites. She found joy spending hours planning and preparing, just to see the smiles on the faces of her loved ones. 

For more than 35 years, Vernie made a career in sales, which she found rewarding. She was awarded several awards for top sellers throughout her career. She had a knack for making her customers feel special. Vernie wasn’t just a salesperson, she built relationships. 

Vernie is survived by her daughter Sharné Burrell (husband Jermaine), sons Terrell Cole and Timothy Cole, two grandchildren Marcus and Simone, father Vincent Clavon Sr., brothers; Vincent Clavon Jr. (wife Delores) Horace Simmons Jr, Larry Simmons, Mark Simmons, sisters; Charmin Clavon-Surma (husband Roy) Loretta Nelson, Cynthia Ledbetter, and host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. 

She is preceded in death by her mother Evelena Clavon, sisters Sandra and Vendetta, brother Mark, and nephew Troy. 

Photo Gallery


Click to see Sharné talk about her mother, Vernie.

Click to see Timothy talk about his mother, Vernie.

Click to see Terrell talk about his mother, Vernie.


When Great Trees Fall

Maya Angelou 


Read by Vernie's daughter Sharné

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.


Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
dark, cold


And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

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Image by Nina Hill

There are relationships that you're fortunate to have in your life. For almost twenty-five years I immensely enjoyed that type of relationship with my sister Bunny. Our paths didn’t cross until later in our lives, but what we shared made up for a lost time. In our phone conversations with my sister, she did 80 percent of the speaking, sometimes 85 percent. There were many times she would seek my thoughts on certain situations, that always amazed me. I am thankful that she and I share the same blood. I am grateful she and I were given the opportunity to love each other much. I will continue to carry her in my heart. 

Your Sibling, 

Mark Simmons

To my Daughter, 

Another soldier’s gone, to get a great reward. 

She fought the fight and kept the faith And now gone home to GOD. 

Sleep on daughter, and take your rest. We all loved you but GOD loved you best! 



Two Friends with a Tablet

Dear Sister in Heaven 

Unknown Author 


I sit here and ponder how very much 

I’d like to talk with you today, 

there are so many things 

that we didn’t get to say. 

I know how much you care for me, 

and how much I care for you, 

and each time I think of you, 

I know you’ll miss me too. 

An angel came and took you by the hand, and said your place was ready in heaven, far above… and you had to leave behind, all those you dearly loved. You had so much to live for, you had so much to do… It still seems impossible that God was taking you. And though your life on earth is past, in Heaven it starts anew. 

You’ll live for all eternity, just as God has promised you. And though you’ve walked through Heaven’s gate, we’re never far apart, 

for every time I think of you 

you’re right here, deep within my heart. 

Love Always,


Memories of Auntie Bunny 


This is the time of year when I begin to get excited for Auntie Bunny’s Thanksgiving feast. I would fill up on my favorite foods until I fell asleep. I would never imagine a Thanksgiving without her. I do remember after dinner, Auntie Bunny would curl up on the couch and fall asleep. I would ask her if she was asleep and she would always reply ”I’m just resting my eyes”, like she was never asleep. It was so funny catching her in that moment. Auntie Bunny- Thank you for all the great Thanksgiving you worked so hard to make special. You will truly be missed. Rest well! 



Memorial Poppies

A great mother that I hope whenever God decides will be the day I go to heaven, I will be able to continue to be the best son I can be to Vernie M. Cole. 

Your Son, 

Timothy Cole

Church Interior

We deeply appreciate your kind expressions of sympathy in our time of great sorrow. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. 

Sorrowfully submitted, 

The family

Bible Verses

Read by Vernie's grandchildren Marcus & Simone 


John 14:27-28


27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 

28 “You heard me say, I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”


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Image by Aaron Burden

Revelation 21:3-4 


3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 

“Now the dwelling of GOD is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their GOD.


4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. 

There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, 

for the old order of things has passed away.” 

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Guest Book

Guest Book
Image by Alisa Anton

In lieu of flowers

please consider donating to the

American Stroke Association.

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