The Washington Post

Virginia Williams memorial service set for March 22


Newly elected D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams at a news conference in November 1998. At right is his mother, Virginia Hayes Williams. (Susan Biddle/The Washington Post)

A D.C. memorial service is planned for the mother of former mayor Anthony A. Williams, Virginia E. Hayes Williams, who died Jan. 23 in Los Angeles.

The memorial service will take place Saturday, March 22, at 1 p.m. at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts at 3500 R St. NW. The program will feature performances by the Ellington Show Choir and the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Children of the Gospel Choir, as well as tributes from selected elected officials, community leaders, close friends and family — including a short reflection from former Mayor Williams.

Williams was an accomplished singer and former postal worker who became a ubiquitous civic presence after her adopted son embarked on a political career in the District. She sang regularly at public events, from renditions of the National Anthem to recitals of “Happy Birthday” at city-sponsored parties for centenarians. She died after a brief illness at age 87.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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