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100th birthday celebration for Jercile Williams scheduled Tuesday

Jercile Williams always took pride in a healthy lifestyle, her niece Dr. LaWanda Finney said.

“When you’d see her at 90, she would ask, can you drop down and give me a few pushups?” said Finney, a Port Arthur resident. “She outlived everyone in the family. She would say, ‘Y’all are supposed to be the smart ones, but you eat too much.’”

The healthy lifestyle has helped Mrs. Williams greatly. She will turn 100 on Tuesday.

Pelican Bay Assisted Living and Memory Care in Beaumont will host a drive-thru celebration for her starting at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday. The facility is located at 2501 S. Major Drive.

Mrs. Williams was born June 9, 1920, in Clarksville, near the Oklahoma border. She graduated from Clarksville High School and earned a bachelor of science degree from Bishop College, where she pledged Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. She went on to receive a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University.

Her education experience took her to Greenville, Clarksville and Dallas, where she lived 70 years. She is a member of Warren United Methodist Church in Dallas and was a Sunday school teacher.

“She was an educator and principal,” said Finney, a Title I/parent engagement coordinator in the Port Arthur Independent School District. “She was always in the health movement. She outlived everyone in the family.”

The family moved Mrs. Williams down to Port Arthur for a few months before she settled at Pelican Bay under the watch of St. Paul United Methodist Church. That’s where her brother, the late Rev. Kelly Black served and present pastor the Rev. James Berry frequently visited until the coronavirus pandemic.

Mrs. Williams enjoys dominos, completing word searches, listening to music and vising with friends and family.

Siblings included Clovis Black, the Rev. Dr. Jackie Black (who also pastored St. James), Thelma Black, the Rev. Kelly Black and James Black.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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