Phyllis R. Williams, 88, was called home surrounded by her family and friends on November 18, in New Castle, DE. She was the youngest daughter of eleven, born on July 14, 1934, to her parents, Mayola Richardson and Francisco "Frank Rogers" Rodriguez, at Crozier Chester Hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Phyllis attended grade school in Chester Upland School District and returned to achieve her diploma from Chester High School in 1972 after raising her seven children. She was very bright and had hopes and an interest in attending college but did not have the money to embark on that journey. Even still, she was a teacher's assistant in the Chester Public Schools for a few years.
She was an avid softball player with a mean curve ball, known as a tomboy to her elder siblings. She loved to entertain others and put smiles on faces. When she purchased her first home in Delaware in the early 70s, it was the only home in her community with an in-ground swimming pool and large sliding board. She welcomed the entire community to swim and taught all of the family and neighborhood kids to swim in her pool, although she could not, and often hosted many cookouts with her large family. Her doors were always open, a trait she inherited from her mother. Every week, she made homemade biscuits and grew her own vegetables and fruits. And if someone could pinch a penny, it was her.
In addition to being a Freedom Fighter, advocate, and civil rights demonstrator, she was also a bit of a gangster--she stayed ready, so she did not have to get ready. On the weekends, she used to love playing pinochle with her husband, McKinley, and her sister Frances. She was a punctual bookkeeper, keeping a flawless record of every dollar spent and lent to anyone in need. Phyllis spent a few years working with Can Erickson, a binder company, to assist with the overwhelming hospital bills of her ill daughter Dani. Phyllis spent the better years of her life, from the 80s until her death serving her family with all she had as a full-time homemaker, often babysitting and caring for her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and their friend's children.
Phyllis loved her family! She nurtured the lost and taught them to care, forgive, and assist anyone in need--she always rooted for the underdog. She taught integrity and character, reminded you daily to pray, and had a way with her words in which she refused to be wrong and loose a disagreement in a conversation. She was soft, delicate, and very stubborn. There were not many times she did not have a grandchild living with her for company and love. She loved having company over and watching murder mysteries such as Matlock, Columbo, and pretty much anything on the ID channel. And do not touch that remote when Al Sharpton, Law & Order and CNN was on that television. She found joy in teaching her grandchildren and others children to read, write, and use arithmetics. Phyllis was one of the funniest and most caring women ever. Everyone has a story to tell about Phyllis' antics about the "Iggles," Sixers, life, and, most recently, Trump! She was a member of the band booster clubs with any school her granddaughter Pia attended and was often known and recognized as "mom" with the cowbell at William Penn football games and band competitions. A true testimate of how she supported everything her family invested in.
In her last years, she found peace in spending time with those she loved and playing her infamous Word Cookie, Wordle, or Solitaire games on her iPad. She had that special spot on her red leather couch where she could see the full layout of her home to keep her eyes on things because she never missed a beat.
She is preceded in death by her parents, daughter Danielle K. Williams, husband McKinley J. Williams, and nine siblings Beatrice, Rita, Mary, Frances, Herman, George, Norman, Joseph, and Willie. Brother Gary Rogers and special niece Stephanie Rothwell survive her. Her greatest joy was being a mother and grandmother. She leaves to cherish her memory: a special granddaughter whom she raised since birth, Pia Williams Stokes, her daughters Bianca J. Wootson, Ilrania P. Wootson, Gina G. Mayfield, Zulene Mayfield, Tasmania Wootson, and one son Mario A. Wootson; grandmother to Darnell Wootson, Melita Wootson, Sanchina Cosmen, Javier Cosmen, Kareen Wootson, Jade Fernandes, Desiree Moody, Ginara Wootson, Tiffany Wootson Majors, Gino Wootson, Soncerai Whittlesey, Honderai Wootson, Micheal Purnell, Tanisha Frame, and Aja Chama--43 great-grandchildren, 12 great-great-grandchildren and a host of special nieces and nephews, and cousins.