- Category: News
13 Oct 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
|Mrs. Violet Wilkins Duncan|
|Homegoing services for Mrs. Violet Wilkins Duncan were held last Saturday (Oct. 8) at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. A. McKinley Royal is senior pastor. (Photo by Tyrone P. Easley)|
A deafening ovation at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church welcomed “Mother Wilkins” back into the Pilgrim Rest sanctuary a year ago (September, 2010) after more than a decade-long absence. (Her return and her life story were featured in the Sept. 30, 2010 edition of the Tri-State Defender and is available here.) She first came to Pilgrim Rest in 1960 when the Rev. C.M. Lee was pastor. She worked diligently in several auxiliaries until failing health forced her to resign.
When she learned that then-Sen. Barack Obama had been elected President, “Miz Violet” smiled real big and said, ‘Sho-nuff,” family members recounted.
Her many accomplishments include: receiving the “Keys of the City of Memphis” from former Mayor Dr. Willie W. Herenton; The Women of Stamina Award from Comrades N Community, Inc; honoree at the Annual New Chicago Awards Appreciation Banquet; and centenarian recognition from former President George W. Bush and President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
And Nov. 17, 2010 was declared “Violet Mare Duncan Day” by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Duncan Sr.; her son, Arthur Duncan Jr.; two daughters, Carrie Mae Williams and Erma D. Watkins; five brothers, Noah, Esau, Jacob, Philmore and Cleveland; and two sisters, Fanny and Myrtle.
“Miz Violet” leaves five daughters, Chasie Mae Dae, Emma Bufkin, Artense Williams of Memphis, Mattie Kimbrough (John) of Gary, Ind., and Martha Jackson (Richard) of Washington, D.C.; five sons, Luther Duncan, Elmo Duncan, Andrew Duncan, James Paul Duncan, and Larry Duncan of Memphis; 61 grandchildren, 117 great-grandchildren, 50 great-great-grandchildren, and host of nieces, nephews, and many, many friends.