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Vincena C. Dickerson

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Vincena Cecelia (Somerville) Dickerson was born in Loveville, Maryland on May 17, 1923 to the late John Thomas and Mary Alberta Somerville. She was the youngest and last surviving of seven siblings, two brothers and four sisters.

Our beloved Vincena (or “Vin” as she was affectionately known), was surrounded by family when she departed this earthly life and peacefully went home to be with the Lord on May 14, 2019, just three days before her 96th Birthday.

Vincena always reminisced about her fun childhood and growing up adjacent to the store/tavern that her father owned and operated during the early 1900’s, which was located on the corner of Route 5 and Sunnyside Road, in Loveville.

Vincena was passionate, energetic, and fun loving. One of her favorite childhood activities was roller skating. She once described a roller skating stunt gone wrong, which resulted in her breaking her leg. Nevertheless, after her leg completely healed, she laced up her roller skates and jumped back out there again!

On November 8, 1947 Vincena was united in holy matrimony to Paul Matthew Dickerson. From this union they were blessed with three loving children, Paula, Angelo (deceased), and Michelle, whom they raised in Loveville at her homestead. She was affectionately known to her children as “Mother.”

In her early days she earned a reputation as the dynamic “Press and Curl” hair stylist and the precise “Needle and Thread” ear piercer. Vincena was known for her fashionable sense of style and her warm loving smile and personality which lit up every room she entered. She had a divine ability to unite people together and she opened her heart and doors to many. Her home was a place filled with love, laughter, games, and delicious food and drinks. Every holiday was an elaborate celebration at her home surrounded with family, friends, and loved ones.

For over 50 years, Vincena was a devoted teacher for the St. Mary’s County Public School System. She earned her credentials from Bowie State College and began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher at Oakville Elementary School in Oakville Maryland. Vincena was overwhelmingly loved by her students and they affectionately called her “Miss D.” She later continued her love for teaching as a Para Professional at Leonardtown High where she retired in 2004 at the age of eighty one (81). Long after retirement, “Miss D,” actively maintained many on-going relationships with her former students.

Vincena volunteered at Cedar Lane Senior Living Home, St. Mary’s Nursing Home, and St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown and prided herself in sharing her light and warm spirit with the elderly. Vin never missed her soap operas, she even recorded them on VHS. She also, enjoyed putting puzzles together, word games, game shows, and bingo. Vin enjoyed her leisure time with her “GIRLS,” Mary Frances (Mix) and Dorothy going to bingo and cabarets or just talking about the good old days.

After nearly a half century of marriage, suddenly Vincena not only lost her husband but also her only son in 1997 to illness, within only months of each other. She remained the pillar of her family, and was a walking example of strength, endurance, faith, and love. Vincena was the true definition of a Matriarch.

She was a member of the St. Joseph’s Parish Housing Project (1945-1960), which was a program that provided land and resources to built homes for less fortunate parish members, most of whom were African Americans. Her father supplied roofing and spouting for the homes, often times at no cost. Later, Vin became a member of the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contribution. In 2009, Vincena (age 84), gave a detailed oral history of the contributions she and her family made to the program, which is archived online at the St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Vincena was an active parish member of St. Aloysius Church, in Leonardtown. She attended Mass, and would visit the church regularly with her cousin Mary Frances, to pray the Stations of the Cross. When she became immobile, she was blessed to have a devoted prayer partner, Thelma Elaine Johnson who visited her at her home to pray regularly. She was also blessed to have her amazing daughters Michelle and Paula as caregivers, throughout her long battle with Alzheimer's.

In addition to her parents, Vincena was preceded in death by her husband Paul M. Dickerson, her son Angelo M. Dickerson Sr., and siblings John T. Somerville Jr., Francis Ennis Somerville, Margaret Elizabeth Frederick, Mary Virginia Hall, Agnes Theresa Thompson, Dorothy Clara Thomas; sister-in-law Devora Somerville; two brothers-in-law, Felix Hall , and Brent Thompson.

Vincena leaves to celebrate her long and love-filled life with her devoted children, Paula C. Mitchell, Michelle C. Veney (Aaron); seven grandchildren, Gary Mitchell (Sherrie), Meloney Holton (Kenny), Angelo Dickerson Jr. (Kia), Antione Dickerson, Vincena Mercedes Dickerson, Kristin Veney, Shelly Veney; seven great-grandchildren, Diamond (Kyle), Ziyah, Kennedy, Kenneth Jr., Jaden, Shandi, Angelo III, Jorden; 2 great great grandchildren, Brielle and Kyloni, a devoted son-in-law Aaron Veney, brother-in-law Harold Thomas, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 10:00AM to 11:00AM in St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Leonardtown, MD where a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00AM with Father David Beaubien officiating. Interment will follow in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery Morganza, MD.

Pallbearers will be: Gary Mitchell, Angelo M. Dickerson, Jr., Damien Chase, Luchino Stewart, and Phillip Fenwick. Honorary pallbearers will be: Vincena M. Dickerson, Kristin Veney, Alison Veney, Diamond Mitchell-Hoey, Ziyah Dickerson and Kennedy Holton.

Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, MD

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