Mother Lillian Mobley
Taking the final look
Thousands packed Ward AME Church, to bid farewell and to celebration the life of a true community treasure
The community lost one of its most precious matriarchs and throngs people came from near and far to bid her farewell. In addition to her immediate family, there were hundreds of friends, supporters, admirers, co-workers, politicians, public officials, community folks, princes and paupers who came out to pay their respects. The entire church was filled and there were no vacant seats – standing room only. All came to walk the last mile with Mother Lillian Harkless Mobley.
Mother Mobley passed away last July 18 and her home-going celebration was held at Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church. The service began with “The Drum Call” in which the Royal Family entered the church. Everyone stood as the Mobley family proceeded into the church. Rev. Cecil Murray, the officiant, prayed for the comfort of the family and for all who had gathered to say goodbye to the community icon.
The New Vision Church of Jesus Christ Choir sang a beautiful and heavenly song and a poem was recited that truly did reflect and described Mother Mobley perfectly. Past and present public officials, supporters and admirers who came – some spoke and others to pay their respects – included Yvonne B. Burke, Arnold Butler, Mike Davis, Mervyn Dymally, William Fujimoto, Warren Furutani, Gloria Gray, Marguerite P. LaMotte, Bernard Parks, Curren Price, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Rita Walters, Maxine Waters and Sidney Williams, Diane Watson, and Rod Wright. Members of the clergy included Leonard Jackson, Eric Lee, Lewis Logan, Clyde Ogden and Rev. Wright, Mother Mobley’s pastor who gave the final eulogy. Special friends, close associates and supporters included Ayuko Babu, Danny J. Bakewell Sr. and Jr., Aline Bakewell, Marva S. Battle-Bey, David Carlisle, Willis Edwards, Noel Foucher, Sheila Frazier, Curtis Owens, Ernie Smith, Karen Waters and Tim Watkins, president of WLCAC, who handled the repast at his organization’ headquarters in South Los Angeles.
The community and the Mobley extend much gratitude and warmth to Brenda Marsh-Mitchell who was responsible for much of the arrangements for the beginning to the end and to those who assist her at the church including Wendy Gladney, Daysha McArthur and Jennifer Nelson, and all the photographers, ushers and volunteers without whom Mother Mobley’s home-going would not had happened so flawlessly.
At the repast, African drummers and dancers performed as the Mobley Family entered. There was a slide show presentation of numerous pictures of Mother Mobley with her family, friends and loved ones. People also shared their most memorable moments with her and shared phrases such as “How are you my precious?” that made them feel like they were loved.
Mother Lillian Mobley left an indelible impact on the African American Community and she will be missed by all who knew and loved her.