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160 Fisher Ave.
WHITE PLAINS, NY 10606
Phone: (914) 949-0372
Fax: (914) 949-2380
Mary Williams

Mary R. Williams (Silas)

Tuesday, October 31st, 1933 - Thursday, November 29th, 2018
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Obituary

Mary Ruth Williams (nee Silas), was born in Albany, Georgia on October 31, 1933 to Daisy (Thomas) Jackson and John Silas. Mary was reared by her maternal grandmother, Nellie Bush Thomas until her death in 1940. In 1947 Mary moved to White Plains, NY and was reared by her paternal grandmother, Irene (Kendricks) Silas. Mary graduated from White Plains High School in 1951. After receiving an academic scholarship, Mary attended and graduated from New York’s Metropolitan School of Nursing in 1953. After graduation, Mary worked various “private duty” nursing assignments for some prominent families and was one of the first African Americans to work as a nurse at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, New York. Mary worked at Lawrence Hospital for approximately 25 years. Mary also worked as a nurse at the college of New Rochelle in the 1970’s.

In 1954, Mary married Richard D. Williams of New Rochelle NY, who she first met at a dance sponsored by the Urban League while in High School. Two children were born to their 57-year union, Ramona L. Williams and Richard D. Williams, Jr. The family resided in Tuckahoe, NY before making their home in Elmsford, NY in 1962. Mary, with encouragement from former NAACP President Mamie Haynes, became a known and sought-after grass roots organizer, community crusader and vocal advocate for the downtrodden, impoverished and underdogs once she moved to Elmsford in the Town of Greenburgh NY. Mary involved herself in and lent her talents and tenaciousness to various organizations and numerous ad hoc causes, addressing and combating unjust policies in the distribution of authority, power and financial resources (governmental and private). Mary was particularly sensitive to circumstances that, if not challenged, would produce unfair results for the populations that needed the most help. In this regard and for example, Mary served as a co-founder and longtime Board Member of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WestCop), a member of the Greenburgh Youth Service Organization (YSO), Operation Youth Start and later as a co-founder of the Greenburgh Youth Center; a co-founder of the Union Child Day Care Center (now Lois Bronz Children’s Center); held various offices in the White Plains/Greenburgh chapter of the NAACP, including branch President; Officer in the Elmsford PTA; Officer in the Elmsford Civic League and served the community as a frequent speaker at Greenburgh Town Hall Meetings just to name a few. For many years before “social media,” during both national and local election days, Mary would get a town/village permit, be driven up and down the streets and urge her Elmsford neighbors to vote over a loud speaker.

In 1973 Mary attended travel school, earned her industry credentials and opened “Bermuda Home Tourist Travel Agency,” which she operated until her health limited her and the internet changed the fundamental nature of both the leisure and corporate travel business. Mary was ever mindful of how difficult it was for a black female owned business to succeed, yet she persevered and operated her business for over forty years. In addition to helping her customers, the most satisfying benefit Mary received was the ability to travel all over the world and make numerous friends literally all over the world. Mary particularly enjoyed working on travel exchanges such as when a group of Elmsford/Greenburgh students traveled to Bermuda to perform a black history presentation and the Bermudian students then came to Westchester to reciprocate; or when she organized an exchange between her home Church and an Anglican Church in South Africa. As a business owner, Mary helped numerous individuals who had no financial means, travel to family crises, prompting debates with her husband whether she was operating a business or a social service travel agency. Mary also enjoyed being a member of the Carnival Club of Westchester and was a past President of the Elmsford Chamber of Commerce.

As a child, Mary was baptized in Albany, Georgia at Arcadia Baptist Church. In 1963 Mary joined what is now, St. Francis and St. Martha’s Episcopal Church in White Plains where she has held continuous membership for 55 years. Mary loved God and called on the name of Jesus often.
Mary also loved her Church, served in numerous capacities, involved the congregation in community activities, and has served God through the Church as an active member.

Mary has received many acknowledgements, citations and awards too numerous to mention here, however, it is notable that she was honored to be inaugurated into the first group of women inducted into the Spirit of Women Archives at Westchester Community College by the American Women of African Heritage (AWAH) in 2015.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years Richard D. Williams (2012); her mother Daisy (Thomas) Jackson, her father John Silas, her sisters Jacqueline Jordan, Norma Baylis, Nellie Claressa Walker and a brother Richard Jackson and multiple special aunts she cherished, that provided care to her during her early childhood following the death of her maternal grandmother.

Mary is survived by her daughter, Ramona Williams; her son, Richard D. Williams Jr.; her daughter-in-law, Paula Jeter-Williams; two granddaughters, Patrice M. Williams and Kyanne A. Williams; six great grandchildren, Ayanna and Aniya Preudhomme, Sky and Jordyn Harper, Elyjah Williams-Morris and Diyari Kemar Sanford; one sister in law, Shirley Butts; and a host of devoted nieces, nephews, cousins, Godchildren. The family recognizes and acknowledges, that in addition to her blood relatives, Mary touched the lives of and enjoyed meaningful relationships and shared experiences with those who considered her a mother, aunt, sister and friend, locally and globally.



The Entire Staff of Lee's Funeral Home, LLC respects that the Williams family entrusted the care of their loved one to us, and that they value the level of service & attention our funeral home provides. We are honored, in turn, to provide comfort, assistance and service to the Williams family during their time of bereavement.



In LIEU of flowers, the family appreciates/kindly requests contributions be made in her name/memory/honor to: Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc., 2 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10523 (may be done through donation tab here on website from Menu above or link below, or on your own) and/or on your own to: White Plains/Greenburgh NAACP, P.O. Box 8286, White Plains, NY 10602, or at www.NAACP.org or www. wpgbnaacporg.wordpress.com , instead of flowers.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 8th, 2018 | 9:30am - 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, December 8th, 2018 9:30am - 11:00am
    Location
    St. Francis & St. Martha’s Episcopal Church
    Address
    575 Tarrytown Road
    WHITE PLAINS, NY 10607
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Viewing & Wake will be Sat. Dec. 8th from 9:30-11:00am, followed by opportunity for open reflections/tributes (during which time casket will be closed/NO more viewing nor speaking with family, as friends are allowed to speak publicly), and then the Funeral Service begins at 12:00 Noon, all at St. Francis & St. Martha's Episcopal Church, address info above. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In LIEU of flowers, the family appreciates/kindly requests contributions be made in her name/memory/honor to: Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc., 2 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10523 (may be done through donation tab here on website from any tab above or link below, or on your own) and/or on your own to: White Plains/Greenburgh NAACP, P.O. Box 8286, White Plains, NY 10602, or at www.NAACP.org or www. wpgbnaacporg.wordpress.com . If flowers are sent despite family contribution request, they may be delivered on Friday December 7th, 2018 by/before 6:00pm to Lee's Funeral Home.
  • Wake Service 1

    Saturday, December 8th, 2018 | 9:30am - 11:15am
    When
    Saturday, December 8th, 2018 9:30am - 11:15am
    Location
    St. Francis & St. Martha's Episcopal Church
  • Service

    Saturday, December 8th, 2018 | 12:00pm
    When
    Saturday, December 8th, 2018 12:00pm
    Location
    St. Francis & St. Martha’s Episcopal Church
    Address
    575 Tarrytown Road
    WHITE PLAINS, NY 10607
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Viewing & Wake will be Sat. Dec. 8th from 9:30-11:00am, followed by opportunity for open reflections/tributes (during which time casket will be closed/NO more viewing nor speaking with family, as friends are allowed to speak publicly), and then the Funeral Service begins at 12:00 Noon, all at St. Francis & St. Martha's Episcopal Church, address info above. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In LIEU of flowers, the family appreciates/kindly requests contributions be made in her name/memory/honor to: Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc., 2 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10523 (may be done through donation tab here on website from any tab above or link below, or on your own) and/or on your own to: White Plains/Greenburgh NAACP, P.O. Box 8286, White Plains, NY 10602, or at www.NAACP.org or www. wpgbnaacporg.wordpress.com . If flowers are sent despite family contribution request, they may be delivered on Friday December 7th, 2018 by/before 6:00pm to Lee's Funeral Home.
    Officiant
    Rev. Audrey Bailey
  • Interment

    Saturday, December 8th, 2018 |
    When
    Saturday, December 8th, 2018
    Location
    Kensico Cemetery
    Address
    273 Lakeview Ave.
    VALHALLA, NY 10595
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    Location
    St. Francis & St. Martha’s Episcopal Church
    Address
    575 Tarrytown Road
    WHITE PLAINS, NY 10607
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Affiliations

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • PTA

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM INC.

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H

Heatley

Posted at 11:41pm
Beverly and I send our deepest sympathy. As you enter this new year we will continue to pray for the family that the precious memory of your love one will sustain you.
M

Miriam Glover

Posted at 11:49am
We greatly appreciate all of the hard work and dedication Mrs. Mary Williams gave to the Westchester Community.
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A donation was made in memory of Mary Williams
DB

Debian Bartley

Posted at 01:04pm
My sincere condolences to all whom have had their lives touched by Mrs. Williams both as a community and individually. She will be greatly missed. May the family be strengthened by Bible passages such as Jeremiah 29:11,12; Job 14:14,15 and 1Corinthians 15: 25,26. I wish everyone the best as they cope with loss of a dear loved one.
KM

Kim McEwen

Posted at 12:58pm
Deepest Condolences to Don, Paula and Family
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A donation was made in memory of Mary Williams
DG

DARREN GAIREY

Posted at 08:05am
May you rest in peace Mrs. Williams. Growing up as a child as neighbors were the best. The wisdom you spoke to me through the fence, lol. You were only 5'1", I couldn't see you but heard you, lol. I remember coming up having to do yard work in my backyard and you'll be relaxing in your backyard and we would have a nice conversation for a few minutes just on life, etc. Then as you've gotten older and didn't feel like being outside sometimes, the conversation still continued from your window, lol. I thank you for that, another great Women in Elmsford that looked after me and I respected as one of my,I called "Neighborhood Mothers". As I took over my parents home and work in the backyard, I can still hear the great conversations we had.I'm going to miss you and thank you so much for being a part of my life.
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