Mrs. Gearlean Williams, born December 23, 1935, in Pinola, MS, to Willie Lee and Bessie Mae (Stringer) Minor. Gearlean passed away on May 24, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan, she’d been in Michigan since 2014 under the care of her loving children.
Gearlean professed her love to the Lord at an early age, as a young child she attended Taylor Hill Missionary Baptist Church, in New Hebron, MS. In adulthood, she joined Bethel Baptist Church in Albion, Michigan, and was a long time member serving in various roles and organizations that include Usher Board, Choir, Sunday School Teacher, and Youth Director.
Gearlean lived most of her young life in Mississippi, in 1960 she moved to Albion, Michigan, and married Willie J. Williams (preceded her in death).
Gearlean’s life took her on a journey to be a loving daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, aunt, neighbor, nurse, baker, cosmetologist, fashion model, Brownie-Girl Scout-Blue Bird-Boy Scout Leader, mentor, missionary, and evangelist. In the 1970’s she was a model for Ebony Fashion Fair that took her to Chicago, and Young’s Clothing store which was in Albion, Michigan. During her many years in Albion, MI, Gearlean held a number of jobs, a nursing aide at Albion Community Hospital, bakery chief at Albion College, also Albion High School. Gearlean also had a cosmetology license, she attended hair shows in Detroit, and she used it to manage her daughter’s hair and sometimes her son’s hair cut in their youth.
In 1984, Gearlean’s journey took her to Los Angeles, California where she would live for more than 30 years. While in California she moved her membership to New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, San Bernardino, California. There she worked with various companies as a contacted Licensed Vocational Nurse, serving families with children who have disabilities and health issues that required day time nursing care. During that time she developed a passion for missionary work traveling to Bolivia, South America, The Netherlands, Haiti, and numerous trips to various countries in Africa. There were times when her children were not sure where she was located while on her mission trips, but they knew she was somewhere helping people in other countries get food, clothing, bikes, and receiving the knowledge of God’s word. She has faithfully ministered to and fed the homeless on Skid Row in Los Angeles every Thanksgiving during her many years in California. She has received five (5) medals for completing the Los Angeles Marathon (26.2 miles), in which her first marathon was when she was past the age of 58, with her last one being at the age of 68.
In 1991, Gearlean worked tirelessly to launch a family reunion, attaining the role as “Matriarch of the Family Reunion,” it has occurred every two (2) years, and has continued through this year (due to the pandemic it’s been moved to 2022), giving it a successful 30 year run. The first family reunion was hosted on Big Hill Road in Pinola,
Mississippi, in attendance – Newsome, Stringer, Taylor, and Minor family’s to launch and continue in with those names on the marque, and were later hosted in Brandon, MS, Lansing, MI, Detroit, MI, Los Angeles, CA, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta, GA, the next one is anticipated to be hosted in Orlando, Florida in 2022. Gearlean was the host of most of the family reunions, the others were hosted by the Stringers, Walkers, and Gearlean’s children over the years, Gearlean’s spirit will live on at each future reunion.
Throughout her journey the most rewarding role - raising her children. She has always supported each and every endeavor, participated in their extracurricular activities, as well as closely monitored their academic progression. She inspired them and instilled values that would carry them through to this day – faith in God, prayer, and determination. Gearlean is a loving child of God who has made it her mission in life to serve others and to live each day as if it were her last, her children admire and aspire to walk in just a fragment of her footsteps in their journey through this life.
Gearlean was the loving sibling to nine (9), a brother, Troy C. Dixson, and eight (8) sisters, Emmer T. Walker, Ona Grey Poates and Earlean (Robert) Anderson. Siblings preceding her in death were Rose May Dixson, Matte Lee Damper, and step-sisters, Eula Mae Stapleton, Elma Barnes, Ora Lee Jefferson. She was also very close to her the Stringer cousins, on her mother’s side of the family tree, hanging out with them in various events and actives throughout her life.
She is the proud mother of six (6) children, Brandon (Brent), Rita, Phynetha, Jerry, Terry and J. Britney. She leaves (14) grandchildren Katrina, Brandon Curtis, Jr., Jamari (Rosita), Je’taiya, Jerome, Jr., Dominque, Jeremy, Carlos, Pernell, Bradley, Ashley, Karen, Cobie, and B.J., 12 great grandchildren, two (2) great-great grandchildren. She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and never met a stranger that she did not share the word of God. Also, want to give recognition of our special cousin, Dwight (Carolyn) Amos, of Albion, Michigan.
Visitation will be held on Friday June 11, 2021 at Peoples Funeral Home, 886 North Farish Street, JAckson, MS from 12:00 noon until 7:00 p.m.
Funeral services will be on Saturday, Junes 12, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Taylor Hill M. B. Church, 548 Rockport New Hebron Road, Pinola, MS
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