Life & Legacy of Julia Williams
KIND "Love is patient: love is kind." I Corinthians 13:4
WISE "She opens her mouth with wisdom" Proverbs 31:26
STRONG " Strength and dignity are her clothing." Proverbs 31:25
LOVING "Love never ends," I Corinthians 13:8
The above passages and descriptions exemplify the life of our mother, Julia Johnson Wade Williams.
Julia was born on March 10, 1925 in Pittsburgh, PA. She grew up in the Deutschtown (Northside) section of Pittsburgh, the ninth of tenth children born to Julia Johnson Wade and John Wade. She attended Schiller Elementary School, Latimer Junior High School and Allegheny High School. Always an excellent student, Julia skipped a grade in elementary school, indicative of her lifelong love of learning. Eager to continue her education, while working full time and raising two daughters as a single parent, she took night classes at the University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers University, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Labor Studies.
Julia leaves behind two Daughters, Karen Lee Williams and Julianne Williams McAdoo, two Grandchildren, Dawn Michelle Young and Colin Christopher Williams and three Greatv Granddaughters, Imani Williams, Juliette Young and Isabel Williams. She also leaves behind her Sister, Jean Blackburn, and a host of nieces and nephews.
A quintessential tomboy, she held the title "marbles champ," even beating her five brothers, John, James, Wilbert, Thomas and Howard, as well as many neighborhood boys. Whenever the boys got up a sandlot baseball game, Julia was always at the ready.
An avid sports fan, Julia rarely missed a Sunday Steelers game on television. As a season ticket holder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Julia enthusiastically attended the games with her daughter, Karen and grandson, Colin. She also enjoyed the Schenley Spartans basketball and football games, even travelling to Penn State University to witness the Spartans' State Championship victory.
Julia worked to support her family. During World War II, as a young woman, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a young government girl at the Pentagon, doing clerical work. While there, she met and married James Williams, a member of the United States Navy. Upon returning to Pittsburgh, Julia worked various jobs, before working at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oakland. She rose up through the organization, which necessitated moves to Brecksville, Ohio, Lyons, New Jersey and Baltimore, Maryland. After retiring as a Personnel Management Specialist, Julia returned to Pittsburgh to spend her retirement with her family. Not one to remain idle, Julia threw herself into volunteering. Some of these positions include, docent at the Carnegie, tutor at MYDC and tutor at ELPC.
A love of travel took her to many places in the world, including Africa, Europe, Central America, the Caribbean and many destinations in the United States. A lifelong voracious reader, Julia attended and participated in several book clubs in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Members of said clubs eagerly awaited her insightful remarks and excellent analysis of the texts. She particularly enjoyed the camaraderie and delicious food members provided at these gatherings.
Strong in her faith, as a child and young woman, she attended Avery AME Zion Church. After retirement, she moved back to Pittsburgh and faithfully attended Bidwell United Presbyterian Church. A steadfast member of the Women's Sunday school class, she provided thoughtful support to members of the group, along with her signature peppermints. Even when her health declined, she attended church regularly, independently arriving on ACCESS. Julia read her Bible daily, and could quote scriptures from memory.
Julia shared her kindness, wisdom, strength and love with her daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sisters, brothers, colleagues, acquaintances and friends.