Nannie Elizabeth Wilkins passed on May 9, 2019, in her home at the age of 92.
Nannie Elizabeth Browning was born March 13, 1927, in Mebane, North Carolina, to parents John Henry and Annie Pearl Browning. Bright from a young age, she graduated Salutatorian from Graham High School and then went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Commercial Education from North Carolina A&T in 1949. An extraordinary feat for a woman of color in that time.
In 1951 she married Smiley Edward Wilkins, and together they had three children: Gwendolyn, Smiley Jr, and Marcus. With her at his side, he joined the Air Force and had a flourishing career as an officer. He may have been the military man, but she was the family drum major, running the Wilkins family and keeping everyone in step.
Once her children were grown, she dedicated her time to community service –
Hospice volunteering, United Church of Christ Diaconate leader, Lompoc Alpha Club member, Executive Board Committee member and Matriarch of the Santa Mariaompoc Branch of the NAACP. A Silver Life and Gold Heritage member, “Mrs. Nannie” worked to advance civil rights and education for over four decades.
Along with her three children, Nannie is survived by three grandchildren (Snowshadow, Rebecca, and Cassandra), and two great grandchildren (Tara and Jaden).
Viewing will be held at Starbuck-Lind Mortuary Chapel in Lompoc on Friday, June 7, 2019, from 4 to 7 PM. Memorial services will be held in Lompoc at Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at 2 PM with Reverend Jane Quandt officiating.