By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Irwin Williams (Courtesy photo)
Los Angeles educator Irvin Finley Williams passed away on April 11, after a long life of dedicated service to God, family and community. He was 87-years-old.
Hailed by many for his wisdom, love and kindness, Irvin inspired countless people from his relatives to students to colleagues and church members. He served 40 years with Los Angeles Unified School District, was a leader in Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, organized campaigns for 100 Black Men, and headed the Ebonics Black Alumni Association of USC.
A celebration of Irvin’s life will be held on Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m., at Trinity Baptist Church, 2020 W. Jefferson Blvd., in Los Angeles, where the Rev. Alvin Tunstill, Jr. is the pastor. Irvin worshipped at Trinity for more than 60 years and was active in several capacities including trustee, deacon, treasurer and chairperson of Trinity’s Community Development Corporation.
Irvin was born February 24, 1932 in Connersville, Indiana to Roy and Minnie Leftridge Williams. Educated in the local schools, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in 1955.
Irvin relocated to L.A. where he held the positions of teacher, counselor, and administrator with LAUSD during the course of his career. While working fulltime, Irvin graduated with honors from USC in 1970 with a Master of Science degree in Education.
In 1960, he united in marriage to the late Harriette Flowers and they were blessed with winning a “Round the World” honeymoon trip from Ebony magazine and being featured in a glossy photo spread. Their union also produced a son and a daughter.
In addition to his community and church involvements, Irvin highly prized his family. Recalling how his father always took him to USC football games, his son, Lorin, said Irvin was “a man of Christian and humanitarian values, a teacher of wisdom, a counselor to all and capable of meeting people from all walks of life.”
Irvin’s daughter, Lori, shared, “My father was ever-present, never missing my swim meets and other milestone events, and always proud of all my accomplishments. He will always be my hero.”
Cherishing Irvin’s memory are his children, Lorin and Lori; son-in-law, Matthew Arnold; siblings, Beverli (Alexander) Hutchinson, Vincent (Opal) Williams, Julia Williams, Nancy Williams and Leah (Sam) Morris; 10 nieces and 10 nephews; 34 great nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.