Cecilia Ann Campbell
Jan 6, 1938 - Oct 17, 2019
This is my Story
Cecilia Ann Campbell
I, Cecilia Ann was born on January 6, 1938, the last of ten children born to John Batiste and Zertha Mary Simien. My birth took place in a three-room house on Schwarner Street in Beaumont, Texas. Ma-Ma said her babies were all “love babies” and I was no exception. I was loved and doted on by my entire family, who have all proceeded me in death. There was Veronica, my oldest sister and Earl, my oldest brother, John, Jimmy, Joseph, Eugene, Antoinette, Bernadette, and Charles. I was three months old when my father passed.
When I was three years old, my family packed up and moved to San Francisco, California. A flat at 1828 Bush Street was home for a while. My brother, Charles, and I were so excited to be in a California home and we had never seen an indoor bathroom before! When I was of age, I attended a nearby Catholic school, Morning Star Elementary, until the family relocated and purchased our very first home in California. I spent the remainder of my childhood in our home at 69 Majestic Ave, in San Francisco’s Lakeview District.
In 1947, Ma-Ma married the only man I knew as “daddy,” Batiste Jolivet. It was okay by me, because after all, I loved Mr. Jolivet until Ma-Ma explained that I was to sleep in my own bed from then on. Being the spoiled little “momma’s girl” that I was, I had a real problem with that. Nevertheless, I got over it.
I later attended San Miguel Elementary School and then James Denman Jr. High School. While at Denman, I was a part of the school orchestra. I was an avid student and loved music and singing. I took piano lessons and became a pretty good pianist. I went on to attend and graduate from Presentation Catholic High School for Girls.
During my teenage years, I was being eyed and sweet talked by the most handsome, coolest and popular boy in the neighborhood. He was my brother, Charles’, best friend. James Campbell was his name. He was also known as “Papa Cool” and “Daddy Love.” Yes, he was something else (and still is). I was smitten! We dated during my junior high and high school years. We attended parties, balls and proms. I was chosen as a debutante candidate and was presented to society. James escorted me to the ball. Falling in love was inevitable and we married on October 6, 1957. To this union, five children were born, one son and four daughters.
My neighbor and friend, Roberta Harris, invited me to her church, Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of Superintendent F.W. Cotton. I knew from the moment I walked in, this was the place for me. Mary Ann whispered to Marie, “Girl, Lena Horne just walked in the building.” Truly, my life changed from that day forward. Wonderful friendships were formed, and I gained additional sisters. We were all thick as thieves. You know the title “This is Us?” Well, “That Was Us.” I served as director and president of the Adult Choir, president of the Young Women’s Christian Council and became a licensed missionary in the Grand Ole Church of God in Christ.
I worked and retired from Kaiser Permanente in 1999, after which, James and I moved from San Francisco to Elk Grove to begin a new chapter. We attended Showers of Blessings Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of Dr. Darnell Thomas. I continued my work in the ministry and served on the Mothers’ Board.
I’ve always endeavored to put God first and allowed Him to order my steps through my life’s journey. I served Him diligently from a young child until the very end. I loved Him with all of heart and I am now rejoicing in His presence.
I leave to continue my legacy, my darling husband of 63 years, James Campbell Sr.; my first born, James Campbell Jr.; my lovely daughters: Angela Campbell, Venetia Britton, Yvette Buggs, Stacey Skipper and my bonus daughter, Jaceta Hailey-Harris; my daughter in law, June Campbell; my sons in law: Donald Britton, Chad Buggs and Sean Skipper; my grandchildren: Rochelle, Derrick II, James Blake Sr., Shantill, Victoria, Carmen, Jordan, Ashlee, Spenser, Chad II, Drew, Dominic, Lauryn, Taylor and Sydney; my great grandchildren: James Blake Jr., Mykeel, Andre, Amari, Tre, Simien, Cecilia (CeCe), Ava, Zoey, Khloe and William IV; my niece and sister, Mary Piper; my sisters-in-law: Octavia Ruben-Simien, Doreen Semien, Geraldine Campbell, Joyce Godfrey and brother-in-law, Joseph Godfrey; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.