Mother Josephine (Yarbrough) Wooden

February 28, 1938 ~ December 31, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Mother Josephine Wooden Obituary



“His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” Matthew 25:23

Dear family, friends, brothers, and sisters, Greetings! 

We are here today to honor the life and legacy of Josephine Yarbrough Wooden, also known as “Mother Peaches.” She was born on February 28, 1938, in Chatfield, Arkansas, to Ivory and Josephine Yarbrough. She passed away on December 31, 2023, after a sudden decline in her health.

Mother Peaches and her parents moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan, in 1950. Within the same year, she joined the Community Church of God in Christ as a teenager under the leadership of the Late Bishop Nathaniel Wells Sr., also known as “Papa Wells.”


In 1957, she graduated from Benton Harbor High School. She married Robert Gibson Gafeney, and to this union they had three children together. In 1964, she married Melvin Emanuel Wooden and to this union, she had three children. After Daddy-Melvin became ill, she remained faithful to him through sickness and poor health until his passing away in 1998. They had been married for thirty-four years.

Mother Peaches was a member of the Outreach Ministry at Greater Community Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C.). She worked alongside Elder Hudson, Elder Allen, Elder Kyle, and other saints for many years. Mother Peaches and the late Pastor Wells III were responsible for teaching the new member's class.  Our mother cared for the people around her and touched many lives while teaching the Word of God. She taught adult Sunday school, worked with the hospitality team, and Directed the Auxiliary Program for the Mothers at the Greater Community (C.O.G.I.C.). She was baptized under the leadership of the late Bishop Nathaniel Wells Jr. 

Mother Peaches had a deep and personal relationship with Jesus. She loved and praised our Lord who lives in heaven. Those who knew her can attest that she remained firm in her faith, seeking encouragement and support through Pastor Thompson and Lady Thompson, Christian networks, music channels, or any other means available to defeat our enemy. Mother Peaches had a generous spirit and was beautiful both inside and out. Her warm heart and radiant smile lit up the entire room whenever she walked in. Today, tomorrow, and every day after, we will mourn the loss of our beloved Mother. She is free from all suffering, pain, and death. We celebrate her glorious salvation and honor her memory within our hearts.

Mother Peaches was blessed with two daughters, Gail Gafeney, who proceeded her in death, and Robin Gafeney-Hill, from Benton Harbor, MI, and four sons, Bruce Gafeney from Phoenix, Az., Brandhi Irvon (Sabrina) from Morgantown, WV, Brett Wooden from Benton Harbor, Mi., and Bryan Wooden who proceeded her in death.

Mother Peaches loved three bonus daughters - Lashonda Holton-Smith and Tamika Rimpson, both from Benton Harbor, MI, and Ebbie Che’ Gulledge from Dublin, Ohio.

Mother Peaches is survived by 12 grandchildren:  A devoted grandson, Ashley Wooden., Kiera Ogburn, Maranda Jenkins, Brett Wooden Jr, Yolanda Jenkins, A.J. Taylor, Isis Mullen, Ivory Mullen, Bria Gafeney, Brookes Gafeney, Bailey Gafeney, Beyond Gafeney-Ray, Brianna Jordan, and Ramona McKenzie. She also had 19 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. 

Mother Peaches is proceeded in death be four brothers: Ivory (Big June) Yarbrough, Joe Yarbrough, Jethro (Jessie) Yarbrough, and Johnny (Snook) Yarbrough, and four sisters:  Ella (L.A.) Moore, Mary Johnson, Rosie Bee Johnson, and Genetta (Page) Walton.

Mother Peaches leaves behind a host of nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and her close friends Erma Dell Ellis, Lorraine Jones, and the Wallace family who have been friends of our mom for over seventy years.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9


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Public Visitation
January 7, 2024

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Greater Community Christian Fellowship
870 Nate Wells Sr. Dr.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Homegoing Celebration
January 8, 2024

12:00 PM
Greater Community Christian Fellowship
870 Nate Wells Sr. Dr.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Interment following funeral service
January 8, 2024

Crystal Springs Cemetery
1655 E. Napier Ave
Benton Harbor, MI 49022


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