Velma Barnes Tyrance was born June 23, 1939 and departed this life on June 20, 2019. She was born to the late Sophia (Nichols) and Mack Barnes, Sr., in Alabama. She graduated from McIntosh High School, Valedictorian, class of 1956. After graduation, Velma attended the renown Tuskegee University. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Education in 1959. Velma received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University in 1976.
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Velma began her career in education as an English teacher at Kissimmee High School in Kissimmee, Florida where she taught from 1959-1965. Velma’s desire to provide service to others and her belief in the dignity and self-worth of all people led her to a career in social work. She was a dedicated social worker in New York from 1965 until her retirement in 1988. After relocating to Greensboro, North Carolina, Velma became a Social Work professor at North Carolina A & T State University in 1989. She retired after nineteen years of service to students enrolled in the School of Social Work.
Throughout her life, Velma was actively engaged with the community and found great reward in serving others. She was a life-long educator and dedicated her time on this earth to community service. She volunteered as an Adult Literacy Educator and as a Medicare Health Navigator in Greensboro. She touched thousands of lives over a 50 year career in education and public service.
After relocating to Omaha, Nebraska to join her sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in 2015, Velma continued to serve the community. A breast cancer survivor, she participated in My Sister’s Keeper Breast Cancer Support Group where she supported other survivors through education and advocacy. Velma was also an active member of Salem Baptist Church in Omaha. She was a member of the Golden Adventurers and she was a member of the Bread of Life Speech Choir.
Preceded in death by her parents and siblings Alice Toole (Will), Walter “Sonny” Barnes, Robert Barnes (Doris) and Clifton Barnes (Rose), Velma is survived by two loving and devoted sons and two daughters-in-law - Marcus (Stephani) of Papillion, and Nicholas (Kristina) of Bellevue, Nebraska; a loving and playful granddaughter, Emma Sophia of Papillion; a loving sister, Regena (Terry, deceased) of McIntosh, Alabama; a dedicated brother, Mack, Jr. (Nancy) of Bloomfield, New Jersey; husband, James Tyrance of Jacksonville, North Carolina; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. They all cherish her memory and a life well lived.