From home, Bertha Lee Williams, 95, was ushered through the Pearly Gates of Heaven on May 22, 2021, out of the arms of her daughter, Althea. She was born December 3, 1926, to the late George and Fhennie Simpson in Snead, Florida.
Mother Williams worked outside the home as an elevator operator at Akron’s downtown Jacobson retail store, Pritchard Janitorial Services, Donmor’s Cleaners, as a clothes presser, and a nanny for a schoolteacher. Mother Williams was a faithful member at The Tower of Prayer C.O.G.I.C. until being homebound.
Mother Williams was an exquisite interior and exterior home decorator. Each of her homes was a masterful showplace - works of art in their own right. Her sense of elegance and class resonated throughout each room. She created floral arrangements that could take your breath away! Her lawn and landscape creativity rivaled those found in Better Homes and Gardens—each flowering bed more picturesque than the next. You could never come to her home and leave hungry. She was a fantastic cook and catered many events. She was an absolute genius at canning and taught this now near-rare skill to women throughout her circle. She lent this same passion for beauty and creativity to the décor at The Tower of Prayer. When her health permitted, she was vital in creating and assisting in beautifying the church, both inside and out. She donated and lent many of her personal possessions for various functions to add special touches of majesty to the church.
She served faithfully as an usher, member of the Young Women’s Christian Council, chairperson of the Floral Committee, kitchen staff and hosted the late Pastor Burton Clemons, his wife and children on many Sunday afternoon dinners.
Mother Williams cherished her beloved husband, and family was only second to her devotion and love for God. She insisted on daily bible readings that had to be completed before “Dad could eat.” Mother Williams was a fervent praise worshipper and would often usher and praise God, in a dance, all in the same step. My how she could step! She was known to share her love for God with complete strangers and would often begin her testimony by stating, “You know I know how to pray!” She was, indeed , a prayer warrior and constantly reminded us to watch as well as pray” and “saints should always pray.”
She was known for her fashion savvy and could wear the brim off of a hat. She was simply stunning. Her hair would cascade from under a hat, over her shoulders, and she would dance and praise God, each beautiful lock of hair waving in agreement.
Mother Bertha (Indian Lady) was preceded in death by her best friend, lover, and beloved husband, Willie J. Williams; granddaughter, Lolita Rivera; daughter, Brigida Marchewka; siblings, Mary Elizabeth Simpson-Williams, Evelyn Simpson, George Simpson Jr, and Angela Simpson; Mother Bertha leaves to cherish her memories daughter, Althea Williams-Thomas; sons, Bernard (Gail) Williams, Michael Oates, Lodi, Ohio, John Byrd, Dorchester, Massachusetts; half-siblings; Jerome, Sonya, Valerie, Andraine Simpson; Fourteen Grandchildren; Twenty-eight Great-Grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews. Special Caregivers: Darron and Delricko Thomas, Marci Rickey, DaMaya Thomas, Jewel Oates, Rosetta Nunes, and SummaCare Hospice, Akron, Ohio.
Mother Williams was a stalwart follower of Christ, dedicated to God, her husband, children, grandchildren, family, and friends. She will be forever loved and sorely missed.
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