Eunice D Simpson

Eunice D Simpson

Stories about Eunice D Simpson

Eunice Simpson, O.J.'s mother, eulogized in S.F.

    Eunice Simpson, the mother of O.J. Simpson, was remembered by her family yesterday in San Francisco as a selfless, generous and devout mother who held her family together through crisis and tragedy.

    An overflow crowd of nearly 500 mourners packed Evergreen Baptist Churchto hear eulogies from O.J. Simpson and his sister, Carmelita Simpson-Durio.

    "If anybody is going to heaven, I think my mother is," Simpson told the crowd, which was jammed into aisles and spilled out through open doors onto the Third Street sidewalk.

    Eunice Simpson, O.J.'s mother, eulogized in S.F.

    By Steve Rubenstein

    Published 4:00 am, Saturday, November 17, 2001

    • 0

    Eunice Simpson, the mother of O.J. Simpson, was remembered by her family yesterday in San Francisco as a selfless, generous and devout mother who held her family together through crisis and tragedy.

    An overflow crowd of nearly 500 mourners packed Evergreen Baptist Churchto hear eulogies from O.J. Simpson and his sister, Carmelita Simpson-Durio.

    "If anybody is going to heaven, I think my mother is," Simpson told the crowd, which was jammed into aisles and spilled out through open doors onto the Third Street sidewalk

    Simpson, standing beside the wooden casket covered with red and white roses,

    recalled how his mother interrupted a family trip to Las Vegas in 1959 in order to drive him to his Little League baseball game in San Francisco.

    "She drove me all the way to San Francisco, and I played the game, and then she drove me all the way back," Simpson said.

    Mrs. Simpson, a retired nurse's aide, died Nov. 9 in her Bayview district home at the age of 80 after a long illness.

    She was praised by Simpson-Durio for being "not only my mother but my father."

    "I was my mama's baby, the only one who really listened to her," Simpson- Durio said. "I personally felt she had a direct line to God."

    Mrs. Simpson was a single parent who raised four children in a Potrero Hill housing project apartment after her husband moved out in 1951.

    A native of Rodessa, La., Mrs. Simpson was a nurse's aide at Laguna Honda and San Francisco General hospitals for four decades. She was a longtime volunteer for the Salvation Army and the Bayview-Hunters Point senior center, and a pianist for her church and its Sunday school.

    "The only place I ever saw her painless was sitting here in church, playing the piano," Simpson said.

    He also recalled asking his mother why she had initially refused to cash the monthly checks he had sent her during his career as a football star.

    "She opened a drawer and there were the checks," Simpson said. "She told me,

    'You never know, son, you might need that money some day.' "

    Mrs. Simpson overcame the family travails of her son's 1995 criminal murder trial with grace and quiet determination, according to family friends. Orenthal James Simpson, a football star, actor and pitchman, was acquitted by a jury of the brutal 1994 slayings of his estranged wife, Nicole, and one of her friends in a trial that riveted the nation for months. He was later found liable for the deaths in a civil trial and ordered to pay millions of dollars in compensation.

    The two-hour service began nearly half an hour late while a large throng of mourners, who had waited outside the church to catch a glimpse of Simpson as he emerged from a stretch limousine, were then unable to find seats inside.

    "There are no seats, no room at all, not even standing room," an usher announced from the front steps.

    In addition to O.J. Simpson and Simpson-Durio, Mrs. Simpson is survived by children Mattie Shirley Baker and Melvin Simpson and by 19 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Interment at Golden Gate National Cemetery followed the funeral.

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