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Eunice Johnson-Mays, '77

A Homegoing celebration for Sister Eunice Vernaller Johnson-Mays, who passed away on April 29, 2017, was held on May 6 at the St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida.

Eunice Vernaller Johnson-Mays, affectionately called "Dump," was born on August 4, 1934.  She was the 13th of 19 children born to the late Moody and Angeline Davis Johnson. She was converted at an early age and grew up praising and worshipping at St. Andrews A.M. E. Church and received her early education in Palmetto, FL. She attended the Miami Barber College where she received a license in Tonsorial Arts. Eunice moved to New York City in 1961 with her late husband Samuel Mays and children, and remained there until 1996. 

During her time in New York, she attended Herbert H. Lehman College, where she enrolled in the PACE Program and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education.  At the age of 41, Eunice graduated with a master's degree in education from Antioch College.  Eunice continued her education and received her Public School Teacher Certificate from the University of the State of New York, the State Education Department in 1976.  Eunice was a Day Care Center Director for 28 years at the Bronxdale Nursery and Kindergarten Day Care Center. Eunice was saved and a strong believer in God and Jesus Christ.  While residing in New York, Eunice was baptized at the Union Baptist Church in 1962. 

Eunice and Samuel retired and relocated to Tampa in 1996. They both continued their spiritual journey and joined Mt. Raymond Full Gospel Church in Palmetto, Florida. After Samuel's demise, Eunice became a member of the St. Matthew M. B. Church, where she received a Certificate of Achievement for the Completion of the New Members Orientation in 2008. Eunice was also the (pro bono) Director of the St. Matthew Child Development Center from 1998 – 2000.

Sister Johnson-Mays leaves to cherish precious memories with her loving daughters, Movia Miller of Tallahassee, FL, Kathy Mays and Shunya Webb (Raymond) of Bronx, New York; grandchildren Kikkha, Aric, Karte', Dannyelle, MyKey, Rasheem, and Essick Brandon; 15 great-grandchildren; brother Dr. Simon O. Johnson (Verna) of Gainesville, FL; sisters Emmeral A. Latimer of Rubonia, FL and Ruby L. Johnson of Tampa, FL; a host of loving nieces, nephews and cousins; daughter-in-law Mary Nell Mays of Jacksonville, FL; sisters-in-law Sallie Bratcher and Rosa Mae Johnson of Palmetto, FL; and other caring and sorrowing relatives and friends.