Mrs. Lillie B. Williams entered this world on October 26th, 1924 in Kansas City, MO to the union of Bennie L. Bryant and Florence Adams.
As a child, Lillie attended Wendall Phillips and RT Coles for elementary and lower school. She went on to attend Lincoln High School where she, and sister Ozell B. Yates were involved in many social initiatives. Lillie and Ozell were members of the junior NAACP. Both were community activists and participated in civil rights protests right here in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Lillie graduated from Lincoln High School in 1941 and went on to complete one year at Sumner Junior College in Kansas City, Kansas. Lillie had a strong desire to pursue higher education, but like many of her classmates during this time, the resources were not readily available for black students to continue on their collegiate path. As a result, Lille entered the workforce.
On April 18th, 1943 Lille married Quentin R. Williams and on March 26th, 1944 they gave birth to their only child, Cheryl Constance Williams. Cheryl and Quentin preceded Lillie in death.
In 1947, Lillie began employment with the Department of Treasury at the Internal Revenue Service. There, she matriculated through the ranks and reached the role of mid-level team manager. Given that she had no formal college degree, this was quite the accomplishment. Especially for a Black Woman during this particular period in history. She worked with the Internal Revenue Service until 1980, when she retired.
In 1950, Lillie became a member of the PM Interlude social club for women. This group of influential women focused on many areas of enrichment and development for the community. The PM Interlude Club was also involved in many charitable initiatives, including working to gain scholarships and resources for black students seeking higher education. Additionally, they were instrumental in grooming women to be great leaders. Truly an invaluable resource to our culture.
Lillie attended Paseo Baptist Church for many years and remained an active member for as long as she possibly could. Her contributions to Paseo as a lifelong member were second to none. She truly loved to study, exemplify, and spread the word of the Lord.
Lillie also contributed to other church communities, youth focused programs, Disabled Veterans, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, The Carter Foundation, Meharry Medical Institute, The American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, just to name a few. The reach of her generosity seemed to circle the globe several times over.
Lillie’s family and friends were the center of her world. Every single action that she took, and every decision that she made was purely for the betterment of her loved ones. To say that she only wanted the absolute best for each and every one of them, would be an understatement. Her love, sentiment, and favorable intent will truly be missed.
Lillie departed her life in the early morning on Friday, October 1st, 2021. She transitioned in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by loved ones. She was preceded in death by parents Bennie L. Bryant and Florence Johnson, siblings Ozell B. Yates and Janice B. Weaver, and only child Cheryl W. James (Frank E. James, Sr. son-in-law). Lillie leaves to cherish her memory, grandchildren Noni J. Newberry (Charles) and Frank E. James, Jr. (Lauren), great-grandchildren Charles F. Newberry, II, Camdyn Victoria Newberry, Faren Lillie James, and Frank E. James, III, and nieces Michele Yates, Vicki Yates-Orr, Janita Clarice Weaver, and Stevelyn Marie Weaver. Also, many other nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and friends will cherish Lillie’s beloved memory as well.
Funeral Service will be held Friday, October 8, 2021, 11:00am at Paseo Baptist Church. Interment Highland Park Cemetery, KCK. Visitation will be from 10am-11am at the church.. Service conducted by Watkins Heritage Chapel. Condolences may be shared on our website.
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