Lila E. Wasson memorial (by her family and friends)

Lila E. Wasson memorial (by her family and friends)

Lila E. (Jenkins) Wasson lived a very full life and made significant contributions throughout her lifetime.

Lila was the 6th of 8 children, born to a sharecropper and domestic woman on January 6, 1924. She died on November 30, 2012 at the age of 88. Lila was fully aware of physical labor from her labor contributions to sharecropping the farm with her father for the family and working with her mother as a domestic, cleaning the homes of well-to-do families in the south.

Lila’s mother, Margaret, knew even without any formal education, that the way out of poverty and up socioeconomically, was when a person was armed with a college education. Margaret was one of 16 siblings; 14 boys who were allowed to attend school, and 2 girls – an older sister who was only allowed to attend 1 year of school and Margaret, who was not allowed to attend school at all. This placed a need in her heart for education that was never quenched.

So, once Margaret married and had children, she spoke often to her 5 girls and 3 boys about the importance of education and attending college. Although many of Lila’s siblings started the college journey before her, Lila was the first to complete & graduate. She graduated from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, and a Master of Arts degree in Education. She also wrote a book titled: “The Classroom Teacher’s Guide For The Beginning Years and Beyond”, which was published in 1998.

While she attended college, she was always under stress. Her stress came from never knowing when and where the money would come from for her tuition and books. Every semester she would go to the Registrar’s Office to request an extension. She would have to beg them to grant her access to register for classes, in advance of the arrival of her payment to the college. Praise GOD and the Registrar, that the college granted her the request each semester. Sometimes all it takes is one person to make a difference in the life of someone in need. However, this process always made Lila fearful and embarrassed.

Lila decided then and there that funds would be there for her sister, Doris, for each semester that she attended college. True to her word, Lila worked 2 jobs for 4 years to provide the money that her sister required to attend and graduate from college with a Bachelor of Art degree in Education.

Lila highly valued education and is remembered with abundance of love, respect, appreciation and as a source of inspiration for the many ways that she enriched our lives.

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