A true Southerner, Alfreda Wright Simms believed in the power of a good meal. She baked and was especially known for her Sweet Potato Pie. In fact, her pies would be purchased at bake sales before they left the kitchen.
Alfreda was born in Sanford, Florida to George and Elmira Foye Wright. She grew up attending Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church just one block down the street; at one point, she played the piano for the church choir. She graduated from Crooms Academy, after which she attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee. Unlike today’s world, where going to college is a family affair, in those days her parents took her to the train station and sent her off with a steamer trunk. She majored in music.
Her marriage to Sgt. Fred Francis Simms, Jr would take her to live in Tucson, Ariz. and Oakland, Calif before leading her to Jefferson City, Missouri, where Sgt. Simms was an instructor in Lincoln University’s R.O.T.C. program. Remaining in Jefferson City while her husband served a tour overseas, she worked at Lincoln University. They chose to stay when he retired from the military and took a civilian job at L.U. Once again, food came into play and many students through the years came to dinner, had a to-go plate brought to campus or sometimes got a bag of groceries. After she retired, she became a big fan of the Food Network, and Emeril Lagasse, the Barefoot Contessa and Tyler Florence became favorites. Her cookbook collection outgrew a four-shelf bookcase. Her other television favorite was QVC.
In Jefferson City, she and her husband joined Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, where she sang in the Chancel Choir and again played the piano from time to time.
She cycled through a variety of crafts – sewing, crochet, knitting, making dolls and jewelry. And at 89, she took her first transatlantic flight and visited seven European countries.
Being a mother was the overriding joy of her life, and she was a mother to not only her daughter, Lori of Jefferson City, but to so many others.
Alfreda departed this life on Friday, May 19, 2023 with family by her side.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Fred Jr., one son Fred F. Simms III, one daughter, Loretta Frances, who both died in infancy and four sisters.
Visitation will be Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, 415 Lafayette St., Jefferson City. Funeral services will be begin at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Anthony McPherson officiating. Burial will be in Hawthorne Memorial Gardens. The service will be livestreamed for those who wish to watch at home. The link can be found on Alfreda’s obituary page at trimblefunerals.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Ramsey Garden at Quinn Chapel.
Trimble Funeral Homes-Jefferson City is assisting the family with arrangements. trimblefunerals.com