Dorothy Mae Williamson came into this world on November 19, 1924, as a beautiful gift and only child to her parents, Charles and Rose Williamson, born in Washington Co., Pennsylvania. Shortly after her birth, however, she lost her mother, and was raised by her father Charles until the age of nine, when he also passed away. Dorothy Mae was then raised by her father’s sister, Sara Williamson-King, in Reidsville, North Carolina.
Dorothy Mae matriculated through the Reidsville public school system and then attended what is now known as Winston Salem State University, where she majored in Elementary Education, graduating in 1950. Not stopping there with her educational pursuits, she received her master’s degree in education from what is now known as the University of the District of Columbia.
Dorothy Mae met and married the late Howard Robinson and had her first four children: Charles, Violet, Reginald and Broderick. Widowed, she then met and married Glasco C. Chappell and they had two more children: Glasco, Jr. and Orlanzo. Dorothy Mae and Glasco remained married for 34 years until his death in 1993.
Mrs. Dorothy Chappell taught school for 34 years in Washington D.C. She spent most of her career teaching at Morgan Community School and Marie H. Reed Community Learning Center. Mrs. Chappell was highly regarded by her many students and their parents over the years. She loved teaching and cared deeply for her students, as well. She exemplified this when she started a “Before and After School Care Program “while teaching at the Reed Center. She continued with this project for seven years after officially retiring from teaching.
While growing up in Reidsville, North Carolina, Mrs. Chappell attended Zion Baptist Church, where she also played the piano and organ for the services. In Washington D.C. she was an active member of The First Baptist Church of Georgetown for over 35 years. There, she served as Chairperson for several church committees. She also was a member of the Sanctuary Choir, the Bell Choir, and served as accompanist for the Children’s Choir. Mrs. Chappell loved her church and always looked forward to attending service every Sunday.
Mrs. Chappell also sang in various church and community choirs, including: The Sanctuary Choristers, under the direction of the late Charles Fleming and the Church Association for Community Services (CACS) choir, under the direction of Stanley J. Thurston. She played piano with several local jazz artists in the D.C area and she organized musical groups such as the Morgan Community School Glee Club.
Mrs. Chappell enjoyed traveling and loved socializing with family and friends. Her loving spirit and good works blessed and inspired many people, and she in return received many awards and accolades such as “Teacher of the Year,” and “Mother of the Year.”
Mrs. Chappell is survived by her four surviving children: Violet Robinson-Chisley, Broderick Robinson (Tammy), Glasco Chappell, Jr. (Katie), and Orlanzo Chappell; 12 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
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