Imo S. Beaton

Published 9:29 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

Frances Imo Simms Beaton, of the 400 block of Elizabeth Street, Suffolk, slipped quietly and peacefully into the arms of her Lord on Saturday, July 29, 2017. A native of Sebrell in Southampton County, Imo was the daughter of the late Thomas Messiah and Pearl Babb Simms. At 94, she was the last remaining member of her family, as she was predeceased by three sisters and three brothers, Pearl Simms Wolfe, Gladys Simms Talbott, Catherine Simms Babb, twins Melvin and Marion Simms, and Grant Simms.

Imo proclaimed her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at the early age of 8 years old in the Methodist church that she and her family regularly attended. Throughout her life, Imo lived that faith and strived to set a Christian example for everyone who came to know her. Her children grew up to the sound of her voice singing God’s praises and daily reading her worn Bible.

When asked her occupation, Imo quietly answered, with a dimpled smile, “homemaker,” a simplification of so much more. Housekeeper, cook, gardener, canner, laundress, barnyard herder, organizer, secretary, teacher, devoted wife and mother. An extraordinary seamstress, Imo sewed and altered clothes for her children plus extended family members as well as being employed in that capacity with Rice’s Department Store at Janaf Shopping Center.

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When her two sons joined the Cub Scouts during the 1960s it naturally followed that Imo would become the Den Mother of Driver Pack 16, Den 6.

A true steel magnolia, gentle and sweet, but strong as steel, Imo was also the epitome of Southern Belle femininity and grace as the bride of Marshall Alvin Beaton Sr. for 71 years. She leaves behind to celebrate her life and cherish her memory the family she and Marshall created together with God’s blessing: two daughters, Martha Matthews and husband, Elwood, of Chambersburg, Pa., and Sandra Davis and husband, Cecil Sr., of Chesapeake; two sons, Marshall Beaton and wife, Glinda, of Amelia, and Edward Beaton and wife, Lesa, of Virginia Beach; 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

It is with deepest appreciation for their support, compassion and the excellent care they provided for Imo that the family acknowledges Lilly Jernigan, devoted friend and neighbor, Stephanie, Toni, Katie and Donna of New Century Hospice Care, Dee, Chia and Sadie of Home Instead Senior Care and Diane and staff of Easter House in Amelia.

A funeral will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Wright Funeral Home, Franklin, with Dr. Charles Thompson officiating. The burial will follow at Rosemont Cemetery, Sedley. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service and suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6350 Center Drive, Suite 102, Norfolk, VA 23502.