Veronica Graham Brinkley was born on August 22, 1924 in New Waterford, Nova Scotia, Canada. She went to her heavenly reward on October 30, 2017 at the age of 93 after a brief illness.
Veronica was the eighth of nine children born to Colin and Margaret (MacPhearson) Graham. She was affectionately called “Girlie” by her Nova Scotia family and “Ronnie” by her Southern friends. Ronnie moved to Memphis, TN in 1941 to live with her eldest sister and her husband, Mary Catherine and Louis Mercier. It was while working at the Memphis Health Department that Ronnie met and married the late William Griffith Brinkley, Sr. in 1947.
Ronnie is survived by her children, Veronica “Vicky” (James) Pittman of Learned, MS; Clair (the late Robert) Scheid of Ridgeland, MS; William “Bill” (Jeannie)Brinkley of Madison, MS; Paul (Laurie) Brinkley of McDonough, GA; and Louis (Jennifer) Brinkley of Aliquippa, PA. Ronnie is further survived by 7 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, her sister Rita (Emo) Pacenti of Cary, NC, and many nieces, nephews and cousins in Nova Scotia, Canada. Ronnie was preceded in death by her husband, Bill in 1985, and her granddaughter, Elizabeth Brinkley of McDonough, GA, in May of this year.
Ronnie, Bill and their family moved to Jackson MS in 1953. After rearing their five children Ronnie went to work at Callaway High School when it opened in 1966. In 1980 she went to work for The Board of Trustees for the State Institutions for Higher Learning. She retired from the State of MS in 1989 and went to work for St. Joseph High School in Madison, MS where she remained until 2002. Ronnie ended her working career to care for her beloved sister, Mary Catherine until her passing in 2003.
Ronnie and Bill were founding members of Holy Family Catholic Church in Jackson, MS and Ronnie was an early member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Madison, MS. She faithfully attended mass each morning and remained active in several church ministries. Ronnie and several ladies from St. Richards and Holy Family parishes founded St. Catherine’s Circle almost 60 years ago. Ronnie served as president of the circle for many years and was the last surviving founding member.
In the words of her Granddaughter, “We were all blessed by (Grandmother’s) strength, inner beauty, compassion, her unconditional love and her simple words of wisdom”. Ronnie will be greatly missed by her family and many, many friends.
Visitation will take place on Monday, November 6, 2017 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on West Tidewater Lane in Madison, MS. A mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:00 AM. A luncheon in the Family Life Center will be held after the mass and all are invited to attend. A private internment of the ashes will take place later in the day.
Memorials may be made to St. Anthony Catholic School, 1585 Old Mannsdale Road, Madison, MS 39110.