Velma Brock Waldorf

Published 11:35 am Thursday, February 13, 2020

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Velma Brock Waldorf

February 4, 2020

Velma Brock Waldorf, 98, died at her Tallahassee home on February 4, 2020, from complications of dementia.

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The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, February 17 at Bevis Funeral Home, 200 John Knox Road, with a reception immediately following. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 18 at Bayview Memorial Park in Pensacola.

Born on the family farm in Grady County, Georgia, on September 23, 1921, Velma was the youngest child of Ella Mae (Lodge) and James Wiley Brock. Her earliest memory was of riding on her Papa’s shoulders from the main cabin across a covered walkway to the warm dining room. She remembered proudly that during the Great Depression, the family shared food with neighbors as well as hungry strangers.

After graduating from Whigham High School and Freeman Business College, Velma worked in Bainbridge, Albany, and Atlanta. In about 1948, she accepted a position as secretary to the president of Tift College, a Baptist women’s school in Forsyth. The next year, Gray Wright Waldorf joined the science faculty. They would marry on campus and honeymoon in Florida. After Forsyth they lived in Texas and then moved to Pensacola in 1955. Gray taught biology at Pensacola State College for nearly three decades. Velma worked for several Pensacola attorneys as a legal secretary once their daughter, Gwendolyn, started school.

The Waldorfs helped found Oakcrest Baptist Church. Both taught Sunday school at Oakcrest, Olive, and East Brent; they later attended Cedar Lawn and Pine Summit. Velma joined the Redbud Garden Club, and coordinated four annual “Taste-In” luncheons. Velma loved to cook for company, with Gray supplying vegetables from the garden and flowers for the centerpiece. At Christmas, she gifted friends with homemade candy. She often said she’d rather read a cookbook than a novel.

From childhood, Velma loved school and was interested in learning something new, whether it was a craft or how to program the VCR. She took college classes, home extension courses, and piano lessons. Her favorite activity was sewing. She explored all kinds of needlework, from embroidery to tailoring. She was a master quilter and taught in a continuing education program.

After Gray’s death in 2000, Velma (who by then preferred to be called “Brock”) moved to Tallahassee to be near Gwendolyn’s family and her sisters, Wilma and Iris. Brock found her new church home at Thomasville Road Baptist. She also joined the Tallahassee Lion’s Club and loved attending their weekly luncheons.

Velma Brock Waldorf is survived by her daughter Gwendolyn and “favorite” son-in-law Dana Bryan, of Tallahassee; granddaughter Elizabeth Michela Waldorf Bryan of Chapel Hill, NC; niece Nancy Davis (Steve) of Bainbridge, Ga.; nephews Harold Glover (Gay), of Mitchell County, Ga., Bill Watson (Sherri) of Jones, Okla., and James Watson (Paula) of Charleston, Ark.. She was predeceased by her parents, her sisters Wilma Glover and Iris Harrell, and her nephews Randall Glover and Nolan Harrell.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Brock-Waldorf Scholarship, c/o Bainbridge State College Foundation, P.O. Box 990, Bainbridge, GA 34818.

Rocky Bevis and Kelly Barber of Bevis Funeral Home (850-385-2193 or are assisting the Waldorf family with their arrangements.