Services were held April 13 at Mt. Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church for Willie Lucille Lassiter. She was 111 years old and died on April 9, 2012.
She was born on Sept. 30, 1900, in Rich Square, N.C., where she spent her childhood days. She was the third of five children and the youngest daughter born to the late Henry and Mary Eliza Lassiter. Her only sister, Hattie Lassiter Smallwood, and her three brothers Russell, Frank and Curley Lassiter all preceded her in death.
Willie attended the Rich Square Institute and State Normal School in Elizabeth City, N.C., (aka the Colored State Normal School) maintained by the State for training teachers for the colored elementary public schools of North Carolina.
At the age of 10 years old, Willie accepted Christ and became a member of the Will Oak AME Church. She was an active member and worked diligently in the Sunday School there.
Willie met Walter Lassiter and in 1920 they were joined in holy matrimony. They were married for over fifty years, when Walter passed away. Although there were no children born to this union many loved her like a mother.
After moving to Philadelphia in 1926, Willie and Walter joined the Mount Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church under the pastorate of Marshall L. Sheperd Sr. She served as a member of the Sunshine Club, The Hester Bible Class and as a Deaconess. Willie loved her church family, she loved her pastor, Marshall L. Sheperd Sr., and both of the Sheperd boys, Marshall Jr. and Sammy; but most of all she loved her Lord Jesus Christ. Willie proudly wore her white deaconess suit and loved hearing her favorite hymn, ‘Amazing Grace.’
Willie leaves to cherish her memory: seven nieces and nephews, Lucille Lassiter Murray, Dr. Genora Lassiter Shaw, Mary Lassiter Vinson, Georgia Lassiter Lawrence, Dorthea Lassiter Smith, Clarence Lassiter and Charles Lassiter; and a multitude of great and great-great nieces and nephews, other family members and friends.