Shirley Lee Herbert-Sessoms was born on January 4, 1938 in Portsmouth, Virginia to the late Cornelius Herbert, Sr. & Lucy Bell-Herbert. She was baptized at an early age at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Macon, NC and later attended Zion Bethel in Portsmouth, Virginia. She departed this life on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Nash General Hospital in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.Shirley affectionately known as “Suzy Q” attended I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. She was the last surviving member of the Spiritual Sextets which she joined in the 1950’s. They sang on the Radio and at various venues in Virginia.
Shirley met and married Matthew Larry Sessoms in 1957. They relocated to Manhattan, New York and later to Newark, New Jersey where they raised three children: Maurice, Daphne and Jacqueline. Shirley was employed at Newark Board of education for more than 25 years where she worked at Marcus Garvey Elementary School and South Street School as a School Aide before retiring in 2005. Shirley joined the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark where she was a faithful member of the Concert Choir, Gospel Chorus and Mass Choir. She also enjoyed fishing, cooking, dancing, shopping and spending time
with family. Shirley was pre-deceased by her sisters, Marion Herbert-Winfield and Annie Mae Herbert-Brown.
Shirley leaves to cherish her memory her husband of 62 years, Matthew (Larry) Sessoms, a son, Maurice Herbert (Charlene) of Burlington, North Carolina, daughters, Daphne Sessoms-Sharpe (Anthony) of Rocky Mount, North Carolina and Jacqueline Sessoms-Morrison (Derick) of Suffolk, Virginia, a sister, Ella Webb (Moses) of Paterson, New Jersey, a brother, Cornelius Herbert (Polly) of Portsmouth, Virginia. Brother-n-law: Steve Peacock (Francine), Sister-n-laws: Rita Sessoms, Kay Lynn Johnson (James) and a host of grandchildren,great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins and dear friends.