Anita Louise Hairston-Ifill was born July 21, 1943 in Tams, West Virginia, the fifth child of Louis Haskins and Sarah Lawson. She attended Tams Elementary School and Sunday School at New Salem Baptist Church where she later taught Sunday School to younger children. Anita graduated from Byrd Prillerman High School in Amigo, West Virginia, and was the Head Majorette for the School Marching Band. She declined a State College scholarship, not wishing to commit to two years of teaching in the state.
After graduation, Anita moved to Brooklyn, New York where she met and married William Harold Hairston. Three children were born of their union: William, Jr., Valarie and Michael. The major portion of Anita's career was with Doremus & Company, working in financial advertising production (although she and her husband briefly owned and operated a fish market).
Following her first marriage, Anita met and married Allan B. Ifill. This union thrived until her unexpected passing on Thursday, May 27, 2021 following eight weeks at Downstate Hospital, Brooklyn, and two weeks at New Vanderbilt Rehabilitation & Care Center, Staten Island. We all thought she would soon return to her Brooklyn home, but GOD was ready to receive her, and called her to HIS home instead.
Anita loved hosting large gatherings of extended family and friends at her Brooklyn home. For many years, she planned and prepared parties for the holidays, and even hosted a niece’s wedding. She enjoyed years of growing vegetables at Floyd Bennett Field, although she complained that she did all the hard work while Allan “only ran the hose.”
Anita enjoyed Canada and Bermuda vacations, and transformed family weddings in Miami Beach and Punta Cana into extra vacations. Some vacation time was also spent with her parents in Beckley, West Virginia.
Following her employment at Doremus & Company, Anita assumed a position as Registrar at the National Academy of Design. She really loved this new endeavor because it was more people oriented.
Anita was preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Sarah Haskins; her youngest son William Harold Hairston, Jr.; her daughter Valarie Hairston; sisters: Joyce Haskins, Deloris Cooper, Nannie Steve and Marian Haskins; and brothers: Robert Haskins and Charles Haskins.
Anita leaves to cherish her memory, her loving husband Allan Browne Ifill; her son Michael Hairston; two brothers: William Haskins (Anisa) and Stanley Haskins (Patricia); two sisters: Ann Scott and Peggy Haskins; two sisters-in-law: Moyette Haskins and Judith Ifill Benson-Reid; a dear aunt Dulcina Gilbert; two stepdaughters: Michelle Ifill-Williams and Nicole Ifill; three grandchildren: Malik Williams, Amira Williams and Dakarai Williams; great-grandson Mekhi Williams; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
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