Mrs. Josephine Goodwyn Warren was born in Greensville County on February 3, 1922, to the late Joe & Queennie Goodwyn. Growing up in a family of eight, she expressed how times were difficult, but she made the best of it. Josephine was academically inclined when it came to her studies, making average to above-average grades throughout grade school. Additionally, she was an exceptional basketball player, a skill she passed to a few of her grandchildren. Josephine was also a debate team member before graduating with honors from the Greensville Training Institute (GTI). Upon graduating from GTI, she was presented with an opportunity to attend Howard University with her oldest brother James but decided against it. Josephine instead chose to remain at home to work and assist her mother in taking care of her younger siblings. She has always remained a steadfast supporter of her family. When speaking of her choices for better higher education and her family, she stated, “I had a choice, and I chose family.” During World War II, Josephine relocated to Washington, D.C, where she met and married Nehemiah Smith and was blessed with two children: Suzette and Stanley. To ensure the well-being of her family and children, she found employment as a maid making ten dollars a week, and each week, she would send half of her earnings back home to support her mother. Josephine was ambitious and always poised for a new opportunity to give back to her family. She happened upon an employment opportunity at The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, also known as the U.S Mint. For seven years, she produced currency before again deciding to take a new direction in life.
Josephine decided to leave Washington D.C. and return to her hometown of Emporia, VA, where she was joined in Holy Matrimony to Eddie Westwood Warren on November 18, 1953. To this union, they were blessed with one child: Eddie. After building her family home and nurturing her children into their independence, she entered the workforce once again with employment at Quality Bakery, Emporia, VA. She was instrumental in forming a union for its employees during her time there, becoming the union president for many years before her retirement. In the time after, Josephine’s desire to nurture through service led to her part-time employment with Greensville County Public Schools as a cafeteria staff member. She was again able to support others as well as support her family through her service. She greeted each of her grandchildren each day with a warm smile, and occasionally she provided money for treats. To her family and friends, Josephine was the epitome of kindheartedness. She opened the doors of her home to her siblings, cousins, and neighborhood children, but her charity didn’t end there. She took the time to crochet blankets for every family member’s accomplishment. Whether it was a graduation, marriage, or birth, she solidified each milestone with her blessing. Josephine assisted in the upbringing of multiple grandchildren while allowing her grandsons to take up permanent residence until they were ready to begin a life of independence. From tilling and landscaping her yard to her pristine garments, Josephine made perfection appear as easily attained but still unachievable to those who attempted to replicate her efforts. She was keen on her and her family’s health and led by example, becoming a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, and walked four miles per day with her friends Ms. Hines and Ms. Kathy. Though her life was eventful, she wanted to travel and see the world. Her daughter and other family members made it possible, as she visited each state within the United States and some international travels. Not only did she serve her community, but she was also a long-time member of Saint James Episcopal Church, where she devoted her life to God in 1985. While in service with her home church, she filled the treasurer position for the women’s department, trustee, and secretary. Upon Saint James closing its doors in 2015, Josephine subsequently became a church mother at the Old-Time Way Church of God in Christ (COGIC), where she supported her son’s pastoral position just as she supported him in other ways over the years. Josephine shined her light throughout her life and demonstrated what it meant to be companionate and strong. Wherever she went and whoever she would meet, her presence left them forever changed.
On September 18, 2021, Josephine transitioned peacefully to her eternal resting place, preceded by her late husband Eddie Warren, siblings James and John Goodwyn, Edith Ballard, Mildred Horton, and granddaughter Tasha Smith. She leaves to cherish her memory: Suzette Ivy (James) of Bryantown Maryland, Stanley Smith (Carolyn) of Lacrosse, VA, Eddie Warren of Emporia, VA. 24 grandchildren: Shantelle (James) of Bryantown, MD, Rodney (Noell) of Washington, DC, Melvin (Lakeethia) of Temple Hill, MD, Stephanie (Mark) of Washington, DC, Andrea (Shaun) of Glenn Dale, MD, Elizabeth (Kent) of Bowie, MD, Melanie of Bowie Maryland, Angela of Washington D.C., Crystal of Maryland, Andre (Francheska) of Ashburn, VA, Alma (Benjamin II) of Franklin, VA, Kelly (Cleveland) of Baltimore, MD, Elizabeth (Bryce) of San Angelo, TX, Nehemiah (Keisha) of Rocky Mount, NC, Monique of Chester, VA, Katina (Brian) of Emporia, VA, Allison (Clifton) of Fayetteville, NC, Stanley of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Josephine of Chesterfield, VA, Keith of Washington DC, Stephanie of Durham, NC, Erica of Fairfield, CA, Mariah of Emporia, VA, Carey of Richmond, VA, 63 Great Grands and her honorary daughter Katherine (Lucas) of Emporia, VA.
Relatives and Friends are encouraged to visit Mrs. Warren's tribute wall to share memories, extend condolences and to order floral tributes, as sentiments to the family.
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