Ms. Senior Jacksonville, 2013
Get to Know… VELMA J. ROUNSVILLE
A native of Kansas City, Kansas I was raised by my grandparents. I graduated from Sumner High School and was a member of the “Future Business Leaders of America”. I attended Kansas City Kansas Junior College for 2 years and Kansas State College at Pittsburg, Kansas for a year where I pursued a degree in Business Administration. I always dreamed of owning a card and gift shop.
In 1986 at the age of 39, I was diagnosed with a rare skin condition called Pemphigus Vulgaris. This was a challenging time in my life. I was young, in the prime of my life, and after being misdiagnosed, battling harsh side effects of medicine and having an almost fatal reaction to gold salt injections, I went into a coma. The hardest thing was my family and I being advised I probably not make it. I can truly say I saw the long tunnel with the light at the end and outline of figures at the end of the tunnel. But the Lord was not ready for me yet! After 2 ½ months in the hospital, I was released with oxygen. The doctors concluded I would need it for the rest of my life… My family and I were happy to know that in December 1986, I no longer needed oxygen and I was on the path to regaining normalcy in my life. One thing is for sure…. This journey helped me realize how short and fragile life really is.
I am a proud mother of three adult children: 1 daughter in Charlotte NC and a son and daughter in Denver CO; 7 beautiful grandchildren and 4 delightful great grandchildren. When we are together we enjoy playing charades, cards and just laughing and talking about old times. Since the great grandchildren are young, I enjoy doing what they want to do. That’s what great grandmothers do!
I have lived in California for 2 years, Hawaii for 3 years, and made Denver my home away from home for 37 years. Denver was close enough to my family that I could visit often. While in Denver I worked for the Public TV station and the Army and Air Force Finance Center before starting my career at Samsonite Corporation. Samsonite Corporation is where I spent over 35 years. I remember my first duty was as a tub girl where we recorded luggage orders on cards which were located in a large tub. Can you imagine doing this by hand and before computers? After 6 months, I was promoted and thereafter held many positions including customer service representative, consumer service representative, order entry supervisor, customer service and order entry supervisor, Customer Service Manager, Consumer Service and Repair Center Manager, and finally Senior Manager of Customer Services.
In 2006, Samsonite closed the Denver offices and in June 2007, I was given the opportunity to establish the customer service department in the beautiful city of Jacksonville, Florida. I worked for Samsonite Corporation until early retirement in December 2009. Samsonite has been good to me and thankfully, I am now happily retired.
I am very active in the community. I am a member of Sheriff’s Advisory Council (ShadCo), Citizen Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC), and HOA. I also serve as the 2nd VP for DWIN. I am active in my church serving as an usher, a member of Sisters and God Alone (SAGA) the Ladies Ministry, the Angel Tree Ministry, and the Living Witness Church School Class. My most recent community service includes serving at Corrine Brown’s Job Fair and the City do Jacksonville inaugural One Spark. I love volunteering and serving our community. I have met some of the most active seniors while at participating in the City of Jacksonville’s Walk-a-thon, Fish-a-thon, Senior Expo, and the Senior’s Holiday Festival.
As a newlywed since February 2010, the man of my life, Willie Rounsville also relocated from Denver, Colorado. I expect to spend the rest of my life with himJ I am an avid sports fan. I love my Denver Broncos and The LA Lakers. If the Lakers aren’t playing, then Miami Heat is the team to beat! If I am not spending time with family or volunteering, I enjoy gardening, traveling, cooking, reading and surfing on the computer.
We extend our gratitude to our 2014 Ms. Senior Jacksonville Pageant sponsors.
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