Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
On September 19, 2023, God in his infinite wisdom called Sister Selphenia Valdoria Hudson Shields from labor to reward. Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023. 1:00 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, 2002 N. Rome Avenue, Tampa, FL 33607 with Rev. Dr. C.T. Kirkland, Officiating.
Sister Selphenia Valdoria Hudson Shields was the oldest daughter of the late Lee and Flossie Cass. Selphenia was born June 6, 1946, in Miller County, Georgia. She was raised in Fort Myers, Florida where at an early age, Selphenia gave her life to God and never departed from her walk as a Christian. Upon relocating to Tampa, Selphenia joined Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. C.T. Kirkland where she served as an active member before health begin to fail. She continued as faithful member until her death.
Selphenia graduated from Dunbar High School, Fort Myers, Florida and furthered her education by enrolling in college and obtaining professional certificates in her chosen career field. She obtained employment with the State of Florida and would ultimately become the Operations Program Manager for multiple sites overseeing the disbursement of over a million dollars in food stamps and related services annually. As one of the few African American women in her role she became a role model and mentor to staff and clients alike. Under her mentorship, many of her staff were promoted into supervisory positions or elevated in their chosen careers.
“Phenie” as she was affectionately called, lived by the creed “service is the price you pay for success” including: life memberships in the NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women; past member of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Charmettes, Inc., member of Just Us, founder of the Sophisticated Ladies of Tampa Bay Inc. and a life member of the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, Inc., and the Order of the Eastern Star. Selphenia was a natural born leader. In her Masonic life she was the former Worthy Matron of Loving Princess, Chapter 308, Tampa, FL, and Grand Queen Bathsheba for the State of Florida. One of Selphenia’s ultimate OES honors was having the “Royal Ladies Queen Selphenia Court” named in her honor.
A portrait of style and grace, Selphenia will be remembered for many things; among them being a kind, caring, confident, loving trail blazer. Those who knew her will also remember her for being the best dressed in the room. From hat to heels she was going to be dressed to impress.
While Selphenia was loved her community involvement, her love for God and family stood above all else. She was a faithful participant of Tuesday Bible Study. Her love for helping people was perfect for the work she did in the Senior Mission Ministry. She loved and trusted God and raised her girls in church. Anyone who knew her has heard about Sam, her daughters, and her sister. She and her husband Sam went to church, travelled, and laughed together. As for her girls, many have said they are so committed to her. Her daughters say, “Mama was our best blessing and our biggest cheerleader.” She taught her girls what her mama taught her “to always put family first.”
Selphenia was preceded in death by: her parents; daughter, Stephanie Hudson; sisters, Daisy Barber and Lucy Robinson; son-in-law Wilson Holiday III, and a host of other loved ones.
Selphenia leaves to cherish her memory and celebrate her life: her loving husband, Samuel Shields; caring sister, Janice Cass, Esq; devoted daughters, Me’Shay Holiday and Lydia Hudson; stepchildren, Vicky Hugan (Neicy) and Rondy Shields; stepson-in-law, Elijah West; like a son, Bernard Norwood; like a daughter, Mercella Oliver (Thony); grand godson, Jarrington Oliver; step-grandchildren, Ronda Bridgeman (Michael), Rondy Shields Jr., Tokila Fisher, Kolott Vaughn (Keith), Torrey Johnson (Aleya), Brandon West (Delphanie), Terrence West, and Ashley Shields; aunts, Evelyn, Gwen, Addie and Patience; uncles, Milton, Thomas and Joseph; cousins, Gloria (Joe) and Johnny (Yvonne); special friends, Iristine, Willie Mae, Jean, Connie, Ceola, Sylvia, Joyce, Carolyn, Betty, and Lynne; and a host of cousins, step-grandchildren, and friends.
A visitation will be held on Friday, September 29, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Ray Williams Funeral Home, 301 N. Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606.
Arrangements entrusted to RAY WILLIAMS FUNERAL HOME, Rhodes & Northern, Owners. http://www.raywilliamsfuneralhome.com