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Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams

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Information about Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams

Profile image of Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Funeral Director
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, White
Favorite Food:
Catfish (Fried), Beans (Red), Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Thank You, God.

Birthplace

Born:
10/4/1927
Birth Location:
New Orleans, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Funeral Director
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, White
Favorite Food:
Catfish (Fried), Beans (Red), Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Thank You, God.

Birthplace

Born:
10/4/1927
Birth Location:
New Orleans
See how Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Reverend Dr. Ruth “Teena” Williams was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 4, 1927. Williams attended public schools in New Orleans, and after graduating from high school, she enrolled in Xavier University, earning her A.B. degree in 1947. She then attended St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, earning her master’s of science in medical social work in 1950.

After earning her master’s degree, Williams moved to Chicago and was hired by Cook County Hospital as a social worker in 1950. In 1955, she was hired by the city of Chicago to work as a social worker with welfare recipients, and in 1957 she went to work for the Veterans Administration. In 1959, Williams joined in the family business, Unity Funeral Parlors, and went back to school to become a licensed funeral director and in 1964 she became an embalmer. Williams served as president and chairman of the board of Unity Funeral Parlors, as well as serving as president of Unity Limousine Services.

Wanting to help people, Williams enrolled in the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1977, and she earned her master’s of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees in 1980. Since then, she also earned a certificate in Anglican studies from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. from the Chicago Theological Seminary at the age of eighty. She served as a part-time priest at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church in Chicago.

Williams was involved with numerous civic organizations, including The Links, Inc., the women’s board of the Field Museum and the Chicago Network. She had numerous awards bestowed upon her over the years, including the Spirit of Love award from the Little City Foundation and special recognition from the Links.

Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 26, 2004.

Williams passed away on June 6, 2011.

See how Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers stories about her mother's childhood in Pass Christian, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams talks about her father's family in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams explains how her parents' relationship began
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams lists her siblings, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams lists her siblings, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers Creole culture in early twentieth- century New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her family tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 in New Orleans, Lousiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes the economic situation of Creole families during her childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls Creole Mardi Gras traditions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams talks about the evolution of Creole identity, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams talks about the evolution of Creole identity, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams explains how voodoo was incorporated into Creole Roman Catholic religious practice
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers Catholic kindergarten at Corpus Christi Church in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her family and school life during childhood
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers extracurricular activities at McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls her time at McDonogh No. 35 Senior High School in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers graduating at age nineteen from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls experiencing class discrimination at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers her ambivalence upon graduating from college in 1947
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls initial challenges at St. Louis University School of Social Work in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls her final year at St. Louis University School of Social Work in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her social work career in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her social work career in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers her transition to a funerary service career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers her late husband's work with Constant C. Dejoie, Sr. at Unity Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls convincing her husband that women can lead, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls convincing her husband that women can lead, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams talks about experiencing gender discrimination when applying to Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls studying for master's and doctoral degrees at Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers experiences at Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams talks about her conversion to the Episcopal Church
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams talks about founding a widows' support group, LARUTH
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams explains widows' experience of isolation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes the necessity of ministers trained in funerary service
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams talks about her current doctoral studies at Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers her call to ordination at her mothers' deathbed in 1987
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls her husbands' death during her journey to ordination
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams remembers her ordination as an Episcopal priest in 1987
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams recalls experiencing gender, age, and racial discrimination early in her career as an Episcopal priest
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams reflects upon discrimination in the Episcopal Church
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Ruth Teena Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 3