Josephine Mama Jo Gordon

November 8, 1961 ~ April 21, 2022 (age 60)


Sister Josephine Gordon,60, passed away at her daughter's residence on Thursday, April 21, 2022.  Arrangements are entrusted to Allen Funeral Home. We welcome you to provide your thoughts and memories on our tribute wall.


A public viewing for Sister Josephine “ Mama Jo” Gordon will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022,  at Friendship Holiness Church in Beaufort, SC from 2 PM to 6 PM, following the public viewing a Musical Tribute will take place from 6 PM to 9 PM. The funeral Service will be held Sunday, May 1, 2022, 2:00 in the afternoon at Grace Chapel AME Church 10 Holly Hall Road Beaufort, SC 29907, interment will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

The beautiful, inspirational, loving, kind, warm hearted, Josephine Simmons was born Wednesday, November 8, 1961, to the late, Elizabeth Simmons Legree, and to Jonathan Holmes in Beaufort, SC.  She meant so much to God, He allowed her to be loved and grow in the care of her mom and bonus dad, Harry Legree Sr, also including her late Great Grandparents, Pastor James “Papa” Simmons and Mother Emily “Mama” Simmons.
Josephine received her formal education in the local Beaufort County schools and graduated a proud Eagle receiving her diploma from Beaufort High School.  She later continued and received some college education.  Jo received Christ as her Personal Savior at the blessed age of 10 and served faithfully as a member and began singing on the choir of St. James Baptist Church, which was pastored by her late Great Grandparents Pastor James and Mother Emily Simmons. 
Josie believed in what the Word of God says, “He that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing AND obtaineth favor of the Lord.”  Willie Gordon found him a rare, precious, priceless jewel gleaming in the fields and made her his wife on November 27, 1994.  The two kept the charge and held to their vows all 27 years The Lord allowed them to share this earth together.  Together they raised 4 beautiful children and enjoyed 4 blessed grandchildren.  Mama Jo was so proud and passionate, and told everyone everywhere, “Those four children of mine, Shanika, Crystal, Dana, and Big Man, those are my heartbeats and my grands, DON’T TOUCH EM! If you want a problem with Mama Jo, then touch anyone of them. They are my world!”

Alongside singing, Mama Jo was known for her cooking!  A culinary specialist indeed!  She was inspired with her love for cooking by Mama Emily and Aunt Mamie Ruth.  Sweet Jo worked at Mom’s, Huddle House, Broad River Seafood, and Bay View Manor (nursing home) as the head cook where she retired.  Even after retirement, she was so highly missed and requested, her big loving heart made her return during holidays to cook and sing.  Family holiday meals were always hosted at Mama Jo’s.  Bonus children came from all over.  Some of her famous dishes:  BBQ pig feet, oyster rice, Josephine rice, seafood salad, sweet potato pies, bread pudding, collard greens, mac & cheese and the list goes on!  She spent many days sharing recipes with her children, Godson (Travis Simmons), bonus sister (Lila Mae), and Pastor, (Apostle Larry Green.) 
Ps. The turkey wings and baked chicken, (we, the children were sick of it!!!!!! Lol).
In March 2022, Mama Jo was refreshed, and the Lord prepared her and filled her with the Holyghost with the Gift of speaking in tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance!!!!!!!
Mama Jo loved so many and was loved by so many we would never be able to count.  She received her bonus children and some she even took into her home and Willie never said no because he trusted her judgement.  Mama Jo had a way to spoil you without having to hold you.  All she had to do was show up, crack a joke, or sing, “Sweetest thing you’ll ever knowwww, there’s none sweeter than Mama Joooooo!”  If Mama Jo ever loved you, you have a charge placed on you to take that love and give it away for free with no strings attached!

Mama Jo leaves to cherish her memory: a loving husband of 27 years, Deacon Willie Lee Gordon; her father who loved her as his own Harry (Dorothy) Legree; her biological father Jonathan Holmes; both of St. Helena Island, SC; her four heartbeats: three daughter: Shanika Simmons of Columbia, SC, Crystal Simmons-Dockery of Beaufort, SC, and Dana Buiseney of Stafford, VA; one son: Emanuel Gordon of Killeen, TX; Three granddaughters; Armani Fripp, Nykeria Henderson, Christina Graham; One Grandson; Timarley (Cool Pop) Dockery; Four sisters; Kimberly ( Stanley) Legree-Diggs, Barbara Anderson, Rose Holmes, Joann Holmes all of St. Helena Island, SC,  Harriet (Nate) Walker of Temple Hills, Maryland, Bonus sister Genise Bing-Simmons of Levy, SC, eight brothers; Marion Simmons, Cedric Holmes, Jonathan Holmes, Brian Holmes and Antwone Washington of St. Helena Island, SC, Dennis Legree of Washington, DC, Kelvin Legree of Alexandria, VA, Harry Legree of Largo, Maryland; One brother in law Henry (Rose Ann) Gordon; God parents; Pastor Jack and Janie Ladson; God children; Darlene, Pag, Shamaine, Lakita, Travis, Rebekka, Terika, and MJ; close friends: Vernetta, Lila, Sadie, Janice, James, Michael and a host of others. A special thanks to her bonus niece Shaquana (Quan) for always making sure her outer beauty matches her inner beauty. She also leaves behind a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, distant relatives, adopted family, loved ones, and friends.


Here at Allen Funeral Home, we care about your safety. We ask that everyone please follow ALL of DHEC guidelines in regards to COVID-19.
Please actively practice social distancing (6-feet apart) and wear your mask at ALL times during the Allen Funeral Home services. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Josephine Mama Jo Gordon, please visit our floral store.


April 30, 2022

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Friendship Holiness Church
6 Cuyler Ln
Seabrook, South Carolina 29940

Musical tribute
April 30, 2022

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Friendship Holiness Church
6 Cuyler Ln
Seabrook, South Carolina 29940

Funeral Service
May 1, 2022

2:00 PM
Grace Chapel AME Church
10 Holly Hall Road
Beaufort, SC 29907

Video is available for this event

May 1, 2022

4:00 PM
Forest Lawn Cemetery
611 Robert Smalls Pkwy
Beaufort, SC 29906

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