On April 1, 1930, Lillie Winkfield was born to the late Eddie and Mattie Jones Winkfield. The sixth of eleven children, she grew up on Johnson’s Quarters, which is now known as the United States Marine Corps Base-Albany, GA. Her mother was born in Unadilla, GA. Her father, born in Baconton, GA, was a sharecropper and held a very special place in their hearts for her. Lillie began her education at Merritt’s Public School located on Johnson’s Quarters in Dougherty County.
At an early age, Lillie joined the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Jordan Merritt and was baptized into the Christian faith where she never departed her membership until her death. Mama, as she was known to many, was the mother of 5 children, mother of her brother’s twin girls, and raised an uncountable number of other children. She worked for many years at Rucker’s Bakery leaving in 1971 when an opening became available as Lead Cafeteria Cook with the Dougherty County school system. Mama retired in 1995.
Mama loved to cook and prided herself in making delicious meals and baking the best cakes and pies. Angela Washington, Cynthia’s daughter’s fondest memory was when “Grandma and I made a strawberry cake with white icing and sprinkles for my 6th birthday at her house on Wells Ave. She was adamant about me having a cake, and we went to the store with a neighbor to get the cake mix and stayed up late making it the night before my birthday. All of the neighborhood kids came over to celebrate with us. She always looked out for me and made me feel special all of the time. Thank you for your loving and compassionate heart, Gramma. I will miss you.” Mama must have had a banner over her house saying, “Come to eat” since all the neighborhood children came to eat out of her kitchen.
On Sunday, December 12, 2021, God made a final call of patience, suffering, and endurance that her soul may rest in peace. He looked out on the battlefield and saw a soldier who had labored hard and He called her home for her reward. Mama was preceded in death by her siblings; Mary Jane Jones, Mattie W. Morrow, Hannah Reid, Rudolph Winkfield, Catherine Winkfield, Odessa W. Williams, Pauline Winkfield, and Cornelia Banks; grandson, Karlos Laster; great-nephews; Johnny Harris and Morris Jones; great-great-grandson, Jacob Eli Spruill; and a loving and dear friend, Ernestine Loretta Jenkins.
The legacy of her season is left to her loving family to cherish; four daughters, Emmie W. Boone, Cynthia W. Washington, Deborah Beach, and Mary W. Laster (Karl), all of Albany, GA; one son, Rudolph Winkfield (Denise) of Gaithersburg, MD; twin nieces, Danette Winkfield of Albany, GA and Danita W. Hawes (Eric) of Gwinnett, GA; twenty-four grandchildren; thirty great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Eddie Mae Stephens of Albany, GA; and a number of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.