Wilford was born in Toronto, Canada. The second of four children born to Gilbert Williams of Detroit, Michigan, by way of Jamaica, and the former Marie Hinds or Toronto, Canada by way of British Guyana. He was raised and schooled in Toronto. He married Elsa Ophelia Bellamy on July 21, 1942. Ten years later they immigrated to New York City. They had four children, Leslie, Will, Gregory and Glen, who grew up on Dunkirk Drive and Graduated from St. Catherine of Sienna Elementary School. In the years following Elsa's death from cancer, Wilford married Violet (Ruth) Roach. Together they raised three sons, Warren, Wayne and Wendell, who graduated from elementary and high schools in Queens.
Wilford was proud of his work as a skilled machinist and continued operating a drill press at Dru-Wel form 1968 until last year. He was bound to his love of music. He played the saxophone, clarinet and flute for local bands, most notably the Chaldo Williams Calypso Orchestra. Wilford also loved classical music and found great solace listening to his favorite operas during 25 years as an usher at the Metropolitan Opera House . . . in New York City. He was greatly appreciated by the patrons in this section. Wilford had an affinity for cars and for driving them, especially around New York City. New knew more about the main roads, side roads and back roads of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx than 99% of New York livery drivers and was sure to demonstrate this at every opportunity. Additionally, Wilford was acknowledged as the consummate handyman; there were very few jobs around the house and the car he wouldn't tackle. . . . If someone had taken something apart (and provided all the pieces), he could put it together.
Wilford succumbed to a weakened circulatory system. He fought valiantly through several operations and procedures, his heart did him proud but gave out the morning of June 8, 2006. He left us peacefully in his sleep. His is survived by a sister, Doris Phills; his children, Leslie, Wil, Glen, Warren Wayne, Wendell and Leisha; grandchildren Nyles, Jason, Wesley, Nicholas, Curtis, Craig, Eric, Andrew, Amanda, Devon, Hesley, Tiana, Rasheeda, Asha, Alexis and Eric; great-grandchildren Serenity, Grant and Coda.
Dad, we loved having you with us, you will be missed, and we pray you are resting comfortably and preparing for our reunion.
Wilford "Willie" WilliamsMet Usher
Posted 02 July 2006 - 03:36 PM
Posted 02 July 2006 - 08:34 PM
Posted 02 July 2006 - 10:53 PM
Thanks for posting this, Carbro -- our community has lost a lover of the dance, and it's good to know some of the details about who he was.
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