Lilla Abbott Williams was born April 6th in Mississippi to Pearlie Johnson & Robert Sengstacke Abbott. She was reared mainly in Helena, Arkansas, where she attended elementary and high school.
Lilla was a very religious and spiritual person. At an early age, she experienced the Pentecostal and Baptist religions. Though she was curious about and accepting of all religions, she chose to practice Catholicism. Her church home became and remained Transfiguration Church since August of 1957.
The many challenges she encountered growing up helped her to understand that life is what you make of it. You can be a victim or a victor. Therefore, she determined that education, goal setting, and work were very important took for self-improvement and "getting a head”. She attended and received certification and/or license from a Memphis school of cosmetology, Grigg's Business College; and IBM School in Los Angeles. She knew that with God "All things are possible", and always pushed the envelope of possibility. She was truly a classy lady, whose demeanor and character touched those she met. All learned something from her actions that they could use in a particular life situation. Lilla always freely disseminated pearls of wisdom to family and friends. She had some unique sets of them for the varied groups in her life. For instance, nieces and nephews would hear, “Education is the key-Set goals, make certain each has a time line, and stick to them as closely as possible,” Or, “You're a young lady- Your actions will dictate how you wish others to treat you.” Also, “I don't care what they say. I say nothing is unattainable. Go for it!” She also had some additional words of encouragement for her daughters. “Under my roof it's my way, or you can hit the highway;” “I will put my foot...”; “I brought you here, and I’ll take you out!” Now these helped them to become the successful women they are today; however, they often wondered from which book she selected her sayings for them.
Family and friends were her joy. She'd do anything for them, intuitively knew their needs, and attempted to fulfill them immediately. Only having two biological sisters, she embarked upon embracing good friends as "sisters" and "brothers", as well as adopting likeable, enterprising young men & women who affectionately refer to her as Mom or Momma Lil, Dear or Aunt Lil.
Lil was a free spirit who also delighted in doing things "Her Way”, enjoyed socializing, singing, playing cards, and numbers games, especially Po Keno, Bingo and in later years the Lotto. And boy, could she dance. As a teen, she often get into trouble with the aunt who reared her for dancing, but it didn't stop her from sneaking out of the house and participating in dance competitions, which she always won. Her Aunt Iona finally gave permission for her to continue dancing, since all the neighbors were excited because the girl from Helena, Arkansas always brought the prize home.
Celebrating her new life are daughters, Annette Bowman Brooks (and husband Willie), Harriet Williams Wallace, Bernice Williams LeBlanc, Mary Allen Williams Daniels (and husband Boyce) of Indiana; son Matthew Williams, Jr. (and wife Stella) of New York; a sister Edna Wilson Chaney of Michigan; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, cousins, Godchildren and their children, extended family and a plethora of friends. A sister preceding her in new life, Iona Wilson Mc Morgan.
October 14, 2013 • 12:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Father Ken Deasy, Celebrant Deacon Greg Patterson, Assistant