A love of God, family, church and community reflects the lifelong passion of Willie Mae Scoby Townsend-Waddell, who passed away Sept. 7 following a brief illness.
As a faithful Christian, mother, grandmother and educator, Willie dedicated her adult years to serving the Lord and making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Her viewing will be held Thursday, Sept. 14, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., at McKay’s Mortuary, 3918 Marine Ave., in Lawndale. A celebration of her life will take place on Friday, Sept. 15, at 11 a.m., at Brookins-Kirkland Community AME Church, 3719 W. Slauson Ave., in Los Angeles. The Rev. Dr. Mary S. Minor, senior pastor, will officiate and the Right Rev. T. Larry Kirkland, Sr. will deliver the eulogy.
A native of Louisiana, Willie was born on May 15, 1937 to George and Nettie Pearl Scoby. She was an exceptional student, graduating from Morehouse High School at the age of 15. After earning a Bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University in 1958, she began teaching in in Bastrop, Louisiana.
Willie later relocated to Los Angeles where she taught more than 25 years at LAUSD’s Bethune Junior High School and serving as the Ninth Grade Class Sponsor and the Drop-Out Prevention Recovery Coordinator. She also studied at Occidental College, Pepperdine University and the University of Southern California.
A devoted Christian, Willie was a charter member and trustee emeritus of Brookins Community AME Church and active in many local auxiliaries as well as AME conference, district and connectional church organizations. In addition, she was a life member of the Southern California Conference Lay Organization and the first Living Legend inductee of the Fifth Episcopal District Lay Organization.
Willie was also a member of the Queen Esther Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Rachel Chapter No. 124 and an avid fan of the L.A. Lakers. According to her family, Willie always said, “Don’t ever give up on the Lakers!”
Willie was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers and one sister. Cherishing her memory are her daughters, Deborah Davis-Caffery, Tamika Townsend-Jones and Sheila Walker; son, Wallace “Reggie” Williams ; former spouse, Mr. Lavelle; three brothers, George Scoby III, Aaron Scoby and Kerry (Leonna) Scoby; two sisters, Cecelia Johnson and Carolyn Hall; five grandchildren, Darius Davis, Matthew Walker, Cne’ (Sean) Gedymin, Irene Davis and Jasmine Jones); three great grandchildren, and a host of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends, extended church family and neighbors.