Wilhelmina Hall, affectionately known as “Aunt Willie”, was born on December 12, 1926 to (the late) James Costello Lyons and Leila Alice Mohorn Lyons in Jersey City, New Jersey. Though she departed this life on Monday, January 7, 2019, her spirit, her faith and her selfless service to family and others lives on.
Wilhelmina attended St. Marks A.M.E. Zion Church, now the Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church, along with her mother Leila and two sisters: Cleva and Helen. In 1943, the family moved to Brooklyn, New York and joined the First A.M.E. Zion Church where she was an active and faithful member, participating in numerous clubs and organizations. Wilhelmina’s faith and devotion to God was her ultimate priority and life’s focus. Her faith made her love others wholeheartedly and intentionally. She had a special way of letting you know you were loved.
In December 1955 with a high school education, Wilhelmina joined the Bell Atlantic Telephone Company where she later became the first African-American woman promoted to a management position. After thirty-five dedicated years with the company, she retired but continued working. Her love and generosity to family, friends and especially the elderly community, led her to volunteer for fifteen years with the New York State Office for the Aging. In addition, she received training and became certified to perform pastoral care services at Brookdale Hospital in East New York Brooklyn, where she provided emotional and spiritual support to hospitalized patients and family members suffering from pain, loss and other anxieties.
Wilhelmina was married twice, first to (the late) Horace Grant and then to (the late) Joseph Hall. Not having children of her own, her boundless love and sense of family mirrored that of a dedicated mother. Along with her elder sister Cleva, she helped raise and support her youngest sister Helen’s nine children. She taught her niece and nephews to help those in need and to be God's blessing to others. Auntie instilled in us the importance of loving God, family and community. Her greatest joy was seeing her family doing well. Her faith was a spiritual force that helped her family withstand life’s storms.
Later in life, due to advancing age and eight years of declining health, Auntie became unable to continue caring for others and had no choice but to allow others to care for her until her recent homegoing. She left a lasting legacy of faith, family and service.
Wilhelmina Hall leaves to mourn and cherish her memory, five nephews: George, Gary, Craig, Aaron and James; four nieces: Deborah, Dawn, Electra and Shaton; and a host of great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, other relatives, extended family and friends.