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James “Lil Chink” Washington passed away on August 18, 2017 at Depaul Hospital. James was born in Ralph, Alabama to the late Arthur Washington, Sr. and Mary Davis Washington on March12, 1932. He served his country, and was honorably discharged from The United States Army, having served in Hawaii.
   After the early deaths of both of his parents, his mother, when James was only and his father, when he was 10 years old. James and his brother, Arthur “Chink” Washington were raised by his uncle Pierce Washington.
   As very young men, James and Arthur and Chink set out to fulfill his father’s wish that Chink take care of his brother James. The two brothers were inseparable and became very well known ii the St. Louis area where they opened up a shoeshine business on Vandeventer. They later became proprietors of three neighborhood grocery stores: CHINKS on Lexington and Vandeventer Ave., CHINKS SUPERETTE on Kingshighway Blvd. and West Florissant Ave., and G and W on Newstead Ave. In later years, after leaving the grocery business, James worked for the City of St. Louis in the Parking Division. He was very proud of his job with the city, and loved the opportunity to meet people.
He loved the game of golf, and became an avid golfer as he played and competed throughout the St. Louis area and across many states in games and tournaments. He loved the camaraderie of the other golfers and especially the idea of being alongside his brother, Chink.
Lil Chink was certainly a “people person and no one was a stranger to him. His personality, vibrant and witty, always drew others in. He never had a negative word to say about anyone, and was always ready to offer you a way to respond positively, if you were thinking negatively about someone or some situation He sought to see the best in others.
   He enjoyed reminiscing about the good ole days. And when he didn’t feel well, all you had to do was ta about the good days gone by, and he would perk up talk for hours on end. He particularly enjoyed engaging in conversations about the people and events of his days spent in Kinloch, Missouri with family and friends, and the many people he came in contact with over the years.
   James was most proud of his family, and enjoyed being in the company of his offspring who loved his dearly. He took pride in welcoming new grandchildren and great-grandchildren into the fold. He was preparing to welcome a new great-grandchild in just a couple of weeks.
   James re-committed his life and his need for our Lord and Savior on February 15, 2004. And with family by his side, James “Lil Chink” Washington peacefully transitioned from this life, to a life of eternity with the Lord.
He leaves to treasure his memory, his wife, Faye Washington, sons: Harold Washington (Estella) of Tuskegee, Alabama and Melvyn Washington of St. Louis, Missouri, three daughters: Deborah Harris- Gentry of St. Louis, Missouri, Sharon Coleman of Miami, Florida, and Millicent King of Phoenix, Arizona one son James” Kippy” Washington Jr., and one daughter Wanakee Lynn Washington preceded him in death. He leaves 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren. He leaves a brother, Arthur “Chink” Washington (Consue of St. Louis, Missouri, and one sister, Othie Eaves of Harvey, Illinois, a host of nieces, nephews, and friends

Rayfield Burch Jr. was born to Ora Wellington and Ray Burch Sr., in Memphis, TN on January 9th, 1945. Both parents preceded him in death as well as his only son, Rayfield
Burch III in 2008.
   At the age of 4, Ray moved to St. Louis with his father and stepmother. He attended Visitation Elementary and was a 1963 graduate of Sumner High School. Attending Sumner was pivotal for Ray and where he developed many of his lifelong friends. Ray was known for his style, sense of humor and gregariousness. At an early age he developed a fascination for cars that turned into a lifelong profession.
   In 1967, Ray married his high school sweetheart, Minnette Hill Gordon. They later had 2 daughters, Rayann and Natalie. Ray pursued a career in car sales and was often the top salesman, recognized as Cadillac Crest club awardee for 10 years. He was fortunate enough to work for some of the most reputable black owned car dealerships in St Louis, which included Mercer Cadillac and Leader Lincoln-Mercury.
Ray moved to North County in the Paddock Woods community in the 70’s and later married Phyllis Rogers Knight and had his son, Rayfield.
   Ray’s mother and siblings resided in Memphis, so every summer Ray loaded up the children and made an annual trip to Memphis in the Cadillacs’. These trips were filled with precious memories of spending time with family and allowing his children to develop relationships with his family.
In the mid 80’s, Ray transitioned to Atlanta for a fresh start where he met Sheryl
   Blackmore and had his 4th child, Taylor Marie Burch. In the 90’s, he moved back to Memphis to be closer to family, especially as his mother aged, eventually returning to St Louis where he lived out the remainder of his life.
Ray enjoyed his life and did it his way. He loved his family and friends and was known as a genuinely nice guy. He knew everyone’s birthday and relentlessly stayed in touch with everyone important in his life.
   Ray leaves to cherish his memory: his daughters—’ Rayann (Antnie) Rockwell —Stone Mountain, GA, Natalie (Johnny) Burton — Herndon, VA, Taylor Marie Burch -Statesboro, GA; daughter-in-law--- Nikia Burch-St Louis, MO; his siblings-— Ithamar Fenerson — St Louis, MO, Gaye Francis Wellington, Venora (Lionel) Travers, Norqual Wellington, Nellie Wellington (deceased) and Nathaniel Wellington Jr., of Memphis, TN; grand children,’— Ariel and Ryan Rockwell, Rayfield IV, Desirae, Nicholas Burch, Zoe -Renia and Zuri Carlyle; a host of nieces and nephews and cousin Alfred (Billie) Burch— Kansas City and lifelong friends.
A special tribute to Phyllis and Will Knight, Jessie Morrow and Jacqueline Vanderford for their unyielding support.
Ray will truly be missed by all who were fortunate to cross paths with him.

Alan Leroy Joplin, 70, passed away September 11, 2017, In Washington D.C. He was the son of Jesse and Margie Joplin (Gillespie) both preceded him in death.  While pursuing education, Alan was awarded a Danforth Fellowship in Education from there he went on to earn nine degrees to include an honorary Doctorate Degree.  Alan traveled extensively over the past 30 years to the Caribbean, Central and South America and Europe.  He  traveled to Cuba as a humanitarian to conduct educational seminars.  He completed studies in research at Casa De Los Americas and Casa De Africa in Cuba promoting African and Cuban Culture.  Alan was a veteran of Civil Rights Movement and a political advocate.  Alan leaves to cherish his memory, three children, Nevin, Che and Allyn Joplin Rollins, four grandchildren and a great granddaughter, siblings Shirley Golden Worthy, Marie Golden Twine, Jesse and Michael Joplin.

Abner J. Williams Ill was born to Abner J. II and Carrie Williams on July 15, 1942 in St. Louis, Missouri. Both of his parents; step-father Daniel Hill; one brother, Ronald Hill; one son, Leon Harris; and his wife, Norma Redmond-Williams precedes him in death
   Abner accepted Christ at an early age. He was educated in the St. Public School System where he graduated from Sumner Nigh School
   Abner meet and tell in love with Novella Kemp who he married in 1962, and to this union three children were born.
He worked for and retired from Metro Transit (Bi-State) on August 2004. Abner was later married to the late Norma Redmond in 1980 and the two of them united their families as one. For the last 27 months, his daughter Devi dedicated her life to making sure that her father was happy and well cared for.
To cherish his memory Abner j. Williams III leaves his devoted daughter, Devi Williams; two sons, Stanford Williams and Michael Williams; two sisters, Babara Ann Pettus and Linda Boothe; one brother, Reginald Hill (Annie); four step children, Brian Redmond, Natalie Redmond, Warren Hinton (Cassandra) Kim Hinton, Six grandchildren Randy, Alexis, Ebony . Edward, Bilan, Bria; eleven great-grandchildren; his best friend/brother from another mother, Samuel Childress, Sr.; and a host of nieces, nephews. cousins and friends.

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 Dr. Williams Mum Merriman, a businessman, educator and computer wizard, passed recently in Nashville, Tennessee.  Dr. Merriman a fifty year member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, had just recently enrolled into graduate studies at Tennessee State University.  He was a former staff member of the University and devoted a lot of time mentoring students, both in St. Louis and on the campus of TSU.  Dr. Merriman is a product of the St. Louis Public Schools and received his graduate degrees from TSU.  He is survived by a son in California and two (2) sisters in St. Louis and hundreds of friends.  He owned a computer IT Company and was considered ahead of his time, when it came to advanced computer technology that assisted minority educators. 
Photo courtesy of Robert Bobby Fisher.