Wilhemina Pryor, the family's beloved matriarch, earned her place on the celestial plane Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at Franciscan Villa in Broken Arrow. She was 92 years old.
Born September 16, 1930 in Kilona, Louisiana, Wilhemina was the daughter of Alexander and Victoria (Lewis) White. One of nine children, he grew up in Louisiana and later moved to Chicago. It was there Wilhemina would meet Arthur Pryor and the couple were married April 12, 1960. Arthur preceded her in death in 1998 after 38 years of marriage.
Wilhemina was also employed as a cook for Chicago Public Schools for several years. A long-time member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Wilhemina loved reading her Bible every day.
Surviving family members include her daughter, Joann Pryor; four siblings; three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Wilhemina was preceded in death by her husband and four siblings.
Words from her grandson, Lashaun:
She showed me how to fight for what I believed in as fiercely as a lion. She lived out loud, and proud, and made waves in places where the water was still. She never allowed me to accept the status quo, and always asked me WHY, making me think on my feet. She ensured I knew how to ride a dirt bike, and gave me a love for two wheels that lasted long into adulthood. Her pride, and strength were unmatched, with a spirit of Chicago grit mixed in. And don't you say anything bad about her Cubbies or mention the Cardinals when her and grandpa were in the house! Her stories of the civil rights movement, and what it meant to her to be the FIRST, black women in Chicago to be hired by Montgomery Ward. To what she went through working there, and why forgiveness to those who may have done you wrong meant so much. That greatness lived in me, teaching me the ability to see people beyond skin color, and see the value of the human spirit.
Her wildly bright light in this life, is one that the world may not soon see again, and her desire for me to be successful in this crazy new work endeavor. Truth be told, we do a thing called, "The Rally" at the stadium, and I think of her and my grandfather often when I do it. Now I know they have the best seat in the house for the show.... And I intend to spend the rest of this season giving them a performance worthy of the greatest Pryor`s I`ve known.
She spent the last several years telling me to believe in myself when she saw me, and never stop reaching. I think the best blessing, is that I get the chance to get on here, and pass that spirit on to anyone Wilhemina Pryor there on social media listening. A true Pryor tradition, preaching to others, not about God, even if we should be. But about the power inside you, and who you can become if you believe, the power of motivation. She believed, she achieved, and while she left a hole that won't soon be filled.... I plan to try to keep her memory alive in me. As I take those lessons I learned into the next phase of my life, and teach my son to Achieve, to Believe, and NEVER SETTLE.
You`ve earned your rest.... We`ll take it from here
"It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness"-JFK
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