On August 29, 1952, God delivered one of His most unique and precious creations into the arms of Linnie B. and Roy Norton. They named their beloved twins Brenda Faye and Linda Kaye. She spent her childhood in Okolona where she cared for and cooked for her siblings. In raising her sibling’s cooking became second nature. She was a soul food “boiling pots” cooking type of woman. Her pound cake was an all-time favorite and her mouthwatering BBQ was craved throughout the year. She was featured in People Magazine after winning 2nd place in a state BBQ competition.
Brenda’s parents ensured she was involved in her local church, First Baptist Church-Okolona which was the baseline for the affection she developed to absorb God’s Word and live a life reflective of His love. Her enthusiasm and passion for education were demonstrated as she was a 1971 graduate of Okolona High School. She was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church where she led the Youth Choir. She was also a proud member of the D-Division Choir of the Southwest District Association. In addition to church involvement, Brenda found herself very active within her community. She took part in a plethora of activities including being elected as Alderwoman of the Okolona City Council and serving as a member of the CBS Club.
She met and fell in love with George W. Piggee, they were married until his passing and were happy parents with two sons Christopher, Shunn and an infant daughter she named Linda Kaye after her twin sister. She was a loving mother, who taught her sons the value of “being a brother and having a brother.” Of all of the incredible roles she held in her lifetime, Brenda made it evident that the most revered and esteemed positions she ever fulfilled were as a mother to her two sons, an ambassador for the Kingdom of Heaven, and as “Nanny” to her grandchildren. Brenda found love again and married Rev. Alex Winfrey on October 13, 2019. They were happily married until his passing on March 2, 2022.
Brenda had a heart for serving others and started a career that spanned 20 years as a home health worker. She was the personal caregiver for Arkansas State Senator Owen Hendrix, as well as, several others. She also worked as the head dietitian and supervisor at the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, as well as, the personal deer camp cook and was known throughout the county for her hot southern meals and desserts. She always busied herself either cooking for friends, family, the elderly, and the less fortunate. She championed frying fish and burning on the grill. Many of the youth in Okolona learned how to drive under Brenda’s home-style training.
In addition to her two sons, Chris Piggee, and Shunn Piggee, Brenda is survived by her eleven grandchildren, Krissen, Taytiana, Taynisha, Lindsey, Carson, Destiney, Shunn, Jr., Chris, Robby, Whittney, Bailee, and Jayden; nine great-grandchildren; her siblings, Carol (Billy) Payne, Harold (Norma) Norton, Sherry (Charles) Dickerson, Terry (Isaih) Jernigan, Patricia Norton, and Debra (Gerald) Miller; a sister-in-love, Andranette Norton; her uncles and aunts, Rogers (Delores) Norton, Johnny Sorrells, Evelyn Purifoy, Esther Norton, Esther Harris, Gracie Dixon, and Alice Henry; special friends, Gloria Gill, Cathy Cole, Willie Mae Harvell, the Antoine Community and Okolona; along with a wealth of nieces, nephews, and other beloved family and acquaintances. Brenda gracefully passed from this life on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at the beautiful age of 70. She is preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Linnie B. Norton; her husbands, George W. Piggee and Rev. Alex Winfrey, and six sibling Dorothy Martin, Linda Norton, Alvin and Calvin Norton, James Duncan, and Ricky Norton; and her infant daughter, Linda Kaye.
Brenda’s favorite pastimes included gassing up her car, throwing three trays of food in the backseat of her car traveling to California to visit Bishop and Sis. Daisey Due, spending time with family and loved ones and contributing her time and talents to be a blessing to anyone she encountered. Brenda embodied the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman, and left a legacy of love.
She was one of the most faithful, consistent, one-of-a-kind, selfless souls to ever walk the face of this earth and while she is without a doubt rejoicing in her Heavenly home, her former earthly home is a bit dim, now absent of the rays of sunshine Brenda radiated everywhere she went.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
Visitation was held Friday, February 3. A home-going celebration was held Saturday, February 4, at First Baptist Church-Okolona with Rev. John A. Hill, officiating. The interment will be at First Baptist Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jerry Harvell, Jackie Harvell, Marcus Muldrew, Emeal Hogg, Corey Smith and Curtis Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.