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Laurens, South Carolina United States

Biography |

Interview Date: 12/3/2004

Civic volunteer Lilliette M. Council was born on October 18, 1902 in Laurens, South Carolina. Her father, John Henry Dial, was a brick mason for T. C. Windham, the wealthy black contractor who built Birmingham, Alabama’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Council sang in the church choir after her father moved the family to Birmingham in 1907. Council’s mother, Mary Lou "Tensacola" Young Dial, was part Native American and a homemaker. Starting at Birmingham’s Industrial High School, then attending Spelman High School in Atlanta, Georgia, Council eventually returned to Birmingham where she graduated from Brooks Academy in 1921.

In 1921, Council married and moved with her husband, William Hewlett, to Cleveland, Ohio. Council separated from her husband in 1931 and moved to New York City. Employed in the garment industry, Council joined the Union of Furriers Joint Council.

Council joined the American War Mothers during World War II and volunteered more than 5,000 hours at V.A. hospitals in the New York area until she was 92 years old. She has been an active member of the Brooks Memorial United Methodist Church where she was twice awarded Mother of the Year. She is a member of the Order of Cyrenes and the Euclid Chapter Number 48 of the Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation.

Widowed twice, Council has seven grandchildren and lives in Jamaica Queens, New York.

Council passed away on September 19, 2011 at the age of 108.

Lilliette Council was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2004.

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