Mrs. Evelyn Vera Fields Williams, a Norfolk native reared in the Berkley section, was born 100 years ago in 1917. What a blessing to her family and the community!!! Not only is Mrs. Evelyn Williams still glamorous and stately, she is still mobile and as my mother would say “CLOTHED IN HER RIGHT MIND.” A lovely inspirational brunch, in honor of this “spiffy” lady with many of her family, friends and church members in attendance, was held at the Chesapeake Marriott Hotel.
Dr. Catherine Williams, cousin of the honoree, was Mistress of Ceremony for this grand celebration. The Welcome and Invocation were done by Rev. Yvonn M. Hardy, Pastor of Mrs. Williams home Church – New Central Baptist Church. This was followed by a stirring solo sung by granddaughter Rev. Sabrina Williams. Ms. Alisa Hardy, director/choreographer and Mrs. Jada Mackey-Wells, assistant director/choreographer did an outstanding job with the Action Ministry Praise Dancers. This youth group from New Central featured Alana Hardy, Bless Mack, JaCory Page, Italy Taylor, Kasey Turner and Anthony Wells and a little girl who was 2 or 3 years of age performing magnificently. Following the Blessing. A delicious brunch was served. Prior to cutting of the birthday cake, the audience clapped, sang and swayed to Stevie Wonder’s version of “Happy Birthday.” The liveliness and jubilation during the singing set the tone for the remainder of the happy occasion.
Lighthearted tributes and reflections were given by Senator Lionel Spruill, Virginia State Senate/District 5; Chesapeake Mayor Alan Krasnoff who also read a Proclamation from the city of Chesapeake; Mayor Kenneth Alexander of Norfolk; and Dr. William Ward former mayor of Chesapeake. Dr. Rose Ward, family friend; Berkley Community Historian Mrs. Anne Boone; First Lady of New Central Baptist Church, Mrs. Pamela Battle-Hardy; and Dr. Shirley Winstead, life-long friend gave reflections. Other tributes came from Ms. Priscilla Scott-Thomas, President, Norfolk Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Mrs. Joyce Colden, President and Dr. Lucy Wilson, Chesapeake/Virginia Beach Chapter Links, Inc.; Ms. Priscilla Tennyson, President Chesapeake Women’s Club; Mrs. Carmelita Williams, President and Mrs. Perdethia Lowery, The Holidays; Mrs. Evelyn West, President and Mrs. Denise Lipscomb, Chesapeake CHUMS; and the 100 Black Women’s representative and family friend Mrs. June Banks. The Programme Tributes and Reflections ended with remarks from Ms. Carole Jenkins a cousin; and a birthday toast by grandson Elder Anthony Williams. This was followed by beautiful reflective remarks and a glorious tribute by daughter Mrs. Sylvia Butler and a love token presentation by great granddaughter Jordyn Butler.
This Jubilant Celebration was planned by Rev. Yvonn Hardy, Ms. Joyce Colden, Mrs. Carolyn Copeland, Dr. Rose Ward, Mrs. Denise Lipscomb and Mrs. Sylvia Butler. Mrs. Pamela Battle-Hardy was responsible for the beautifully decorated head table; and Mr. Robbie Savage and Mrs. Carolyn Copeland did a splendid decorating job of the gift table. The gorgeous invitations were done by Ms. Junelle Banks. The host and hostesses were as follows: Mrs. Shanta Fields, Chair, Mrs. Colette Springs, Ms. Shannon Harrison, Mr. Keonte Martin, Ms. Sheila Fields, Mr. James Greene, Ms. Lakendra Hunter, Ms. Vestia Simmons and Mr. Larry Martin. Songs played by the D. J., was very appropriate for the age groups present. Mr. Frankie Davis and The Mighty Stars sang songs that had the audience singing along with many of the tunes.
Mrs. Evelyn Vera Fields Williams was extremely gracious in her closing remarks giving thanks to all who came to help celebrate her wonderful life. As stated by Mrs. Williams, “I thank my family and friends, from far and near, for your presence, thoughtfulness, time and generosity. I deeply appreciate all that you did to make my 100th birthday a blessing. I will always cherish and remember this day. God bless all of you.”