God Rest Selma Gipson’s soul. My best Red Clay Friend.

Selma T. Gipson

January 20, 1942  –  February 18, 2018

Mrs. Selma T. Cornelius Gipson was the 9th of 11 children born to

Mr. and Mrs. Clifford {Marian} Cornelius, January 20, 1942 in West Grove, Pennsylvania.

Selma was educated in the Chester County School District of Pennsylvania, where she grew up in the Main Line ‘country’ between Avondale, West Grove, and Jennersville.  Selma and her siblings spent the day, when not in school learning, by playing, fighting, picking berries, and swimming in the creek (especially when it rained and flooded).  It was a treat to see the Bond Bread truck delivering 10 loaves of bread which they would have eaten before it returned two days later.  Thrilled to hear the Rickey’s Ice Cream Truck, they would scramble to find a nickel for a cone.  Probably overwhelmed by so much excitement the driver could hardly get the favors called out, so each of them would take turns asking what flavors he had!

‘The Clan’, as our family is loving known, lived in a long white house that housed 3 families, and eventually lived in all 3 communities.  The family moved to Jennersville where they all walked to school over the water ways, through the woods, or through the farmers gardens to Elkview…a one room school with 8 grades and one teacher, and you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet.  Mrs. Lewis was our Teacher.  We were all taught The Word of God as children.

The Cornelius family attended the High Street Church of God, in Philadelphia, PA under the Pastorate of The Late Rev. Horace W. Sheppard, Sr., then, under the Pastorate of Rev. Edward Cross, Sr., joined 23rd Street Church of God in Wilmington, DE.  Selma’s current Pastor is Rev. LeRoy R. Jones of New Path Christian Church in New Castle, Delaware.

In 1956 our family moved to Philadelphia.  Selma then settled in her own 3 bedroom home.

Selma always embraced being a Wife, Mother, and Homemaker (cooking delicious meals).

Selma volunteered as a secretary in the medical clinic in her children’s elementary school.  Trained in Medical Data Entry Selma was employed at Women’s’ Medical College of Philadelphia.  Selma’sprofessional skills developed and afforded her a position with Riverside Hospital. During her recovery, and while on leave after a fall, Selma cared for her grandson LyVell, and volunteered in his school with the Parent/Grandparent Program of The Red Clay Consolidated School District.  This led to Selma being appointed Co-Chairperson for The Red Clay Title I Parent Advisory Board.  Selma’s effervescent laugh and personality, and traveling to professional conferences led Selma to host the “Red Clay This Week”  Television Show, airing twice weekly.  Selma informed Delaware Citizens on a variety of issues, hosting Teachers, Students, Parents, Politicians, and Business Professionals.  This opportunity led Selma to host and mc other events and engagements.  While visiting her beloved Bermuda she met with teachers in her Sister and Brother-in –Love’s Church School (First Church of God North Shore) and was enjoyed by all.  Selma was a close friend of Sis. Dianne Simmons whom she would meet in New Jersey, and speak for Dianne’s cousin at The Black Awareness Conference.  The report was Selma was great!

Selma would continue her employment until early retirement, due to illness.

Family being her greatest joy, during holiday and summer breaks Selma would pack up her brood announcing, “we’re going the country and that’s final!”  Selma loved visiting home, reconnecting with rest of ‘The Cornelius Clan’ for great food and good fun.  Selma also loved entertaining out of town guests, decorating her home, attending matinees with friends, and lunches at The Olive Garden, or a buffet with family and friends.  Selma enjoyed sending and receiving beautiful cards, and would could spend hours in the card section if you let her.  Selma, enhanced her natural beauty with fashionable and colorful attire, as she especially loved scarves…too many to count.

Selma enjoyed Opera and Classic Oldies Music…often singing along.

Amidst Selma’s hurts, disappointments, and struggles (and often there were many)…

Selma learned to lean on The Lord in The Spirit of Psalm 91 and Philippians 3: 14.

Selma’s greatest legacy was her love for The Lord.  Having accepted Christ Jesus as her Savior,

Selma would attend Church and Bible Study,

and she enjoyed listening and singing to Hymns and Spirituals.

Daughter, Sister, GrandDaughter, Niece, Cousin, Wife, Mother, GrandMother, Aunt, Friend, C0-Worker

Selma leaves to celebrate her memory…

All of her 8 children:  Mr. Pierre A. Cornelius (Jennifer), Rev. Dr. Geneva E. Tolliferreo, Mr. Kermit C. Gipson, Jr. (Adrina), Miss Shirley A. Gipson, Miss Deborah L. Gipson, Mr. Lawrence W. Gipson, Miss Dia K. Gipson, and Mr. Bruce W. Gipson.2 Brothers:  Mr. Allen C. Cornelius, Sr. and Mr. Charles W. Cornelius. 4 Sisters:  Mother Loleeta Rogers, Elder RuthAnn Lambe (Vernon), First Lady Arlene Whye (Dave) Siblings preceding Selma in *passing:  Mrs. Mildred McKim (*Harold), Mrs. Delores Johnson (John),Mrs. Barbara Eaton (*Hubert), Miss Dorothy Cornelius, and a host of GrandChildren, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, Family, and Friends.

To be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord…1 Thessalonians 4:11  KJV 


Selma was my best friend in Red Clay. We did so much work for Title 1 over the years and she mentored me in the real struggle of Title 1 students and parents. She and Christina School District sister Margaret Crosby gave me the strength to charge up the hill keeping Red Clay in check when it came to the needs of Title 1 students and parents We had a voice. I can still hear her laugh. One comes to mind is when Ted Blunt and I were guest on Red Clay This Week ( at Red Clay TV program she and other parents before my participation convinced Red Clay to create that was for Title 1 parents and students.) Ted and I were sitting joking around while waiting to go on air (shows were tapped). Selma was freaking out because we wouldn’t stop. The stagehand was doing the 10 second countdown with his fingers. Ted and I finally stopped about the last second and but on our serious face. Then there was the time Selma and I were part of a forum at Red Clay Warner school where Governor Minner participated. We were seated on stage. I had my son with me ( he was in 4th grade.) He was sitting in the audience and when I would looked over at him he would stick his tongue out and make faces. I was OMG and frowned at him. That made things worst. I whispered to Selma to look at him. OMG she almost lost it. She is one of those people that come into your life where there memory will live with you forever. Selma had the biggest heart and made people coming on the TV show for the first time comfortable. I was very sad when Red Clay when into a different direction with the TV show replacing her. It is what it is. However, after all those years Red Clay failed to give he honors at a board meeting. It was like, sorry and have a nice life. She handled it well but I know she her heart was broken. 

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