Annabelle Taylor Williams was born on Sept. 24, 1908, in Jasper, Fla. to Martha and Jesse “Dett” Taylor. She was raised as the middle child and only girl of three siblings, with brothers Julius and Frank Taylor. The family later moved to Columbia , S.C.
Annabelle was educated in the Columbia School System and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. Her family moved to Philadelphia when she was 18. Their first residence was Park Avenue and later, North College Avenue, in North Philadelphia. In 1960, the family moved to the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia .
She married Roosevelt Williams, affectionately known as “Ted,” on Feb. 24, 1930. From this union, four children were born – Loretta Trueheart (deceased), Regina Lawson, Roosevelt Williams Jr., and Doris Murray.
She became a member of Miller Memorial Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Reverend J. Luke Jones. She loved her church and served faithfully. She was selected as one of the founding members of the Pioneer Usher Board in July 1954.
Annabelle initially worked at the Oyster House on Samson Street in the Rittenhouse Square section of the city. Later she joined ILGWU, formally known as the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union, for whom she was a garment inspector. Her last formal employment was with the Philadelphia School District ’s Food Service Division, where she worked at various schools throughout the city.
Upon her retirement in the 1984, the best was yet to come; Annabelle decided to volunteer her services as a “Foster Grandparent” with the Mayor’s Office of Community Services at the Thomas Jefferson Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital . She found great comfort and enjoyment in caring for special needs infants by providing them with her warm presence and loving touch. Annabelle had five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Annabelle received many high resolutions, proclamations, and honors for her community services as a notable Centurion from federal, state and city government officials including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Mayors W. Wilson Goode and Michael Nutter as well as Pennsylvania State Rep. Mark Cohen.
She was preceded in death by her husband. Survivors include her son, Roosevelt, Jr.; daughters, Regina Lawson and Doris Murray; son-in-law, Robert Ellis Murray; five grandchildren; three great granddaughters; and a host of family and friends.
A viewing will be held from 9a.m. to 11a.m followed by a service in her honor at 11 a.m. on April 27 at Miller Memorial Baptist Church, 1518 22nd St.