Bessie Wilson- Denmark, was born on October 22, 1917 to the union of Scipio Wilson, Sr. and Ellen Clark Wilson in Savannah, Georgia. Bessie was the baby of seven children: Flossie and Nathan who died at birth, her sisters, Marietta Wilson Jenkins and Frances Wilson Wyche, her brothers, Joseph and Scipio Wilson, Jr. completed the family and all preceded her in death. Bessie, affectionately known as “Moma D”, was called home to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at 5 o’clock AM on Friday, January 12th 2018 after a brief stay at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. Today, we gather to pay homage and respect to a loving Godmother, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother, great-great- great grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend.
Bessie received her education from schools in Chatham County, Georgia. She relocated to New York City at the age of eighteen and became employed with Nanette Undies Company, Inc. also known as “The Bed Jacket House” a sewing factory located in Brooklyn, NY. At a young age, Bessie learned how to skillfully thread a needle to perfection. It didn’t take long for her seamstress skills to be noticed by upper management, thus, after a few years with the company, she became the "Liaison for the Showroom” store located in Manhattan. Her ability to select fabric and coordinate patterns for bed jackets was quite unique. When she retired from Nanette Inc. as an office manager, she had achieved an employment milestone, not attained by many of her generation. On January 3rd 1958, Bessie married the love of her life the late George Denmark, who served in the US Army as a mechanic until he retired. Sadly, their only child, a baby boy died as an infant.
Bessie joined Southern Baptist Church and remained a loyal member for 62 years, serving as Financial Chair for the Senior Choir for 40 years. Her record keeping was simply phenomenal. “Moma D” and the late Sister Velma Bates were responsible for feeding all Southern Baptist Summer School children for five years. "Moma D" served as Co-Chair for Southern Baptist Women’s Day Anniversary for two consecutive years. Oh, the history she lived through , the strange fruit she saw, the challenges and victories her eyes gazed upon for 100 blessed years. Ponder that…“Moma D”, the name Rick-Anthony gave her, always spoke about the love she had for the Lord, her family and her friends. She was well known, loved and respected among her church families in and around the five boroughs of New York City. Everyone that knew her enjoyed the warmth of her smile, her friendly personality and her loving, caring spirit. Throughout her life, Bessie remained a giving person. Her kindness and love were a direct reflection of her deep, traditional, southern upbringing beginning with her beloved parents and the Oakland Missionary Baptist Church
family of Savannah, Georgia.
She is the last of her siblings and leaves to celebrate her life and cherish her memories the following: Beloved Son, Grandson, Godson N. Rick-Anthony Richards, Jr.( Bronx, NY); Step- Daughter, Florence Cunningham (Philadelphia, PA); Step-Granddaughter, Dorothea Perry; Step- Great-Granddaughter, Keshia M. Cunningham; Step Great-Great-Granddaughter, Limajah J. Cunningham; Step- Great-Great-Great Granddaughter, Synai M. Flowers (All of Lawrenceville, GA); Nieces: Ann (Archie) Scott( Savannah, GA), Shirley Tinley (New Brunswick, NJ), Edna Tolbert (New York, NY), Elaine (Clifford) Swint (College Park, GA), Patricia G. Howard, JoAnn W. Myers (Savannah, GA), Gail W. Levette (Jacksonville, FL), Spencerita Mullen, Sandra (Lorenzo) Barrett, Patricia Williams, Cynthia (Thomas) Morgan (All of Washington, D.C.), Zelena (Allen) Mitchell (Linden, NJ). Nephews: Kenneth (Denise) Charlottesville, VA), Allen Denmark (Washington, DC), and a host of Great, Great-Great, Great-Great- Great Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and Friends. Extended Family: Bitha Alexander (Nashville, TN), Jackie Lambright, Mary Stith, Christina, George, Liza & family, Maggie Johnson (All of NYC), and lastly, all of her family and friends in Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina and the late Rev. Eugene King.