August 13, 1934 ~ December 29, 2021
Born in: Indianapolis, IN
Resided in: Indianapolis, IN
The passion to improve conditions for the Black community has always burned within Vernice Williams. She lost her father when she was just three years old and credits her mother for setting a strong example and making selflessness the norm in her family.
Vernice was born and raised on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. She is a graduate from Crispus Attucks High School and attended Indiana University. She married her husband, Andrew, at age 17 and had six children. Even with a large family, the couple made the activism of the civil rights movement a critical part of their lives. When she went to a march, Andrew would stay with the kids, and vice versa.
Through her work with Operation Breadbasket and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Williams went to Chicago, where the Rev. Jesse Jackson-led Operation PUSH held its first exposition in 1969. The event championed Black achievements in business, technology and leadership.
Her servant leadership in the Indianapolis community through organizations like the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis and the Indiana Black Expo span over 50 years and has left a tremendous mark. As a result of her tireless enduring service, she became the first person from the state of Indiana to receive the
President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2005.
Vernice leaves her legacy and remembrance with her children and family that they will
continue to strive for excellence.
She is survived by
Bishop Nealon Guthrie, Joseph (Marsha) Guthrie and Deborah (Alan) Lewis
Children: Bishop Crystal Thomas-Bush, Bishop Andrea J Williams, Marlon (Gulmira) Williams,
Dr. Sherman (Sheree) Williams, DeWayne (Margie) Williams, and Karen R. Williams
Grandchildren: Norman (Amanda) Williams, Robyn Williams, Robert (Felice) Williams, Justin (Michele) Williams, Jessica Williams, Joshua (Tina) Williams, Jonathan (Dina) Williams, Jonathon Thomas, Kathryn Williams, Josiah Thomas, Shawn Williams, Quinn Williams, Tonia (Michael) Rodgers, Marcus Williams, Darryl Jones, Marcel (Austen) Williams, Jamar (Dalisha) Williams, Kenneth Tucker, Dilana Joyce, Aliya Williams
Great grandchildren, a host of cousins, nieces and nephews, relatives, friends and church members
She leaves us with this charge:
“I think every generation ought to be better than the one that came before it.
They have more…; they should do more.”
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