What a late Valentine’s gift of love Willie and Gertrude Fletcher received on Tuesday, February 24, 1948, as they welcomed their baby girl, Willie Mae Fletcher into the world. Little Willie Mae, affectionally called Mae, was here to make her mark on life and what a mark she made.
Mae attended George Washington Carver School in Sweeny, Texas where she was known to make her friends smile. Mae married Peter Lavallis, Sr. after high school. They were blessed to have four children together. Sometimes life just don’t go as planned and Mae and Peter thought it best to separate and go their separate ways. Later Mae married Walter Washington and they were blessed to have one child from their marriage together. Mae loved and enjoyed her family. Although she worked outside the home, she took pride in taking care of her home, her husband, and her family. She looked forward to family gatherings, outings, reunions, and spending time with her extended family including her grands and great grand-children and others.
When Mae walked into a room, her smile and personality dazzled everyone. Yes, let the party begin! She was such a was social butterfly who made friends everywhere and she never meet a stranger. How could anyone stay down when Mae was around? She could just say stuff to make everyone smile and laugh. It was said, ‘she can put a smile on your face that no one could erase’. Yep, she was a fun-loving lady who enjoyed life. In their earlier years, she and her husband loved going to house parties on Friday nights where they were going to play Pokeno, eat some good food, have some good conversations, and listen to good music. It is true, Mae loved herself some good music. It didn’t matter if it was gospel or Muddy Waters, B. B. King, Zydeco, or just the blues in general, she enjoyed music! In later life, she and Walter would enjoy going to the Civic Center with other senior citizens and playing dominoes while socializing. Mae could play a mean hand of cards and it was hard to beat her working Word Puzzles.
After working in the nuclear plant in Bay City for years as well as working as a nurse aide for a short period of time, Mae accepted a position as a cashier for HEB in Angleton, Texas. It was at HEB that her warm and fun personality was enjoyed by many regular shoppers. Following retirement, she enjoyed watching TV especially Steve Harvey on Family Feud and The Maury Povich Show. However, she has always enjoyed watching WWE!
There are so many great memories of Mae. Memories of times spent with the family; of things she said to make everyone smile; of the smell of her frying fish or chicken and cooking mustard greens with a lot of ‘fat meat’ in them; and of her ending every phone call saying, “I love you”. That love was mutual. She was loved by many, but God loved her best. Yes, she accepted Jesus Christ and was baptized at the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church at an early age by Reverend Goodman. She remained a member throughout her life. God showed her that love once again on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, when she gained her wings.
“I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at the day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” - 2 Timothy 4: 7-8.
Those who will reflect on these and other precious memories of Mae include her daughters: Kathy Lavallias (Randy) Reado of Sweeny, TX and Andrea (Ben) Washington Boler Bey of Brazoria, TX; sons: Anthony Lavallias of Savannah, GA and Kevin (Paige) Lavallias (Paige) of Roseville, MN; stepsons: James Washington and Dale Washington of North Carolina; sisters: Katy Thompson of Lake Jackson, TX, Lois Williams-Anderson of Pearland, TX, and Katherine Mack of Brazoria, TX; 22 grandchildren, and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
We remember those who transitioned before her including her husband: Walter Washington; mother: Viola Gertrude Fletcher; father: Willie Fletcher; son: Peter Lavallias, Jr.; brother: Henry Fletcher; sisters: Margaret Hudgins and Ellen Simmons; nephew: Henry Washington; grandparents: Sidney and Nancy Fletcher, as well as Lewis and Arilla Edison.
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