Cover photo for Vernell Tonkins Butts's Obituary
Vernell Tonkins Butts Profile Photo
1937 Vernell 2024

Vernell Tonkins Butts

October 1, 1937 — February 23, 2024

Vernell T. Butts, October 1, 1937 – February 23, 2024

Vernell “Nell” Tonkins Butts, age 86, went home to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Friday, February 23, 2024, surrounded by family at her home in Smithfield, VA.

Vernell was born to the late Willie Eddie and Martha Hamlin Tonkins of Wakefield, VA on October 1, 1937. Ten siblings preceded her in death, Willie “Punch” Tonkins, James “Gene” Tonkins, Sr., John “Wallace” Tonkins, Ralph Tonkins, Wilbert “Coy” Tonkins, Doris Hamlin, Josephine Gray, Gladys Debnam, Ruth Jones, and Willie Ann “Honey” McBryde.

Vernell was married to the love of her life for 67 years, the late Deacon James H. Butts, Sr. who passed December 2022.

Her precious memories will always be cherished by her daughter, Lucy Butts-Watkins, and son, James H. Butts, Jr. (Sherri); grandchildren, Donald “Chris” Watkins, Jr. (Shirlwin) of Chesapeake, VA, Daphne “Charlene” Watkins Jacobs (Paul) of Ann Arbor, MI; James “JayJay” H. Butts, III, Norfolk, VA; Grandchildren, Jordyn and Jaxon Watkins, Chesapeake, VA; Quinn and Clayton Jacobs, Ann Arbor, MI and Sherena Wilford, Carrollton, VA; Great Grandchild, Jeremiah Butts, Florida; Brother-in-Law, Wayman “Anthony” Jones, Hampton, VA, Aunt-in-Law and best friend from grade school, Elizabeth Bailey Ricks, Petersburg, VA; dedicated Cousin Virginia Davis, Newark, New Jersey, and a host of Great Nieces, Great Nephews, Cousins, and Friends.

Vernell’s proudest moments were serving as a Deaconess in the Kingdom of God at Tabernacle Baptist Church East End. Deaconess Butts also served on The Tidewaters Usher Ministry, The Orcutt Avenue Senior Citizen Club, The Minute Men Task Force of East End and the Right Worthy National Grand Past Senior Matron with the United Order of Tents, Matilda Tent #131and Royal Degree Chamber #6.

Vernell will be greatly missed by the family and friends she spoke with daily on the phone, Juanita Scott, Lawrenceville, GA, Willie Mae Warren, Ivor, VA, Louise Harris, Suffolk, VA, Betty Ricks, Smithfield, VA, Elnora Welch, Hampton, VA, Barbara “Bobbie Jane” Hill, Wakefield, VA, Virginia Davis, New Jersey, Mary Sheppard, Newport News, all her nieces and nephews, and many, many more!  She was known as the Facebook Queen. She never liked or responded to any post but could tell you what was going on!

On Thursday, February 29, 2024, viewing will take place from 4-6pm at Shivers Funeral Chapel. A Celebration of Life will be held 11am Friday, March 1, 2024, at Tabernacle Baptist Church East End 1408 Marshall Ave. Newport News, VA. Please pray for the Tonkins-Butts family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vernell Tonkins Butts, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Thursday, February 29, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, March 1, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Tabernacle Baptist Church East End

1408 Marshall Ave, Newport News, VA 23607

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Saturday, March 2, 2024

11:00 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 745

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree