Rochester: Corene Marie Washington passed away peacefully on December 26, 2012. She was preceded in death by her parents Harriet and Crosby Kearsley and by her beloved son Percy "Pete" Washington, Jr. She is sadly mourned by her children Harriet (Ron), Kate, Eric (Sheila) and Theresa (Carl) Edwards; her sisters Irene Billips, Evelyn Kearsley, Dora Kearsley, Doris Brooks, and her brother Crosby McKinley Kearsley, Jr. She is also sadly missed by her grandchildren Khari, Rashida (Elliot), Wesley, Dustin, Jayme (Eric) Washington-King, Carl, Jr., Tierney, Demetrius; and five great-grandchildren Khari Jr., Imani, Asha, Jacyn, Sophia and other loving family members. Corene Washington was born to Harriet and Crosby Kearsley in Croton-on-Hudson, New York on April 26, 1926. She was the second eldest of five siblings. She finished high school amid the tumult of World War II
and although Corene loved art and won a scholarship to study at the Art Students League in New York City, she decided to join the Women's Army Corps. As a WAC she served in all black unit and was deployed to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where she met and married a fellow soldier, Percy Cecil Washington, on March 10, 1951. She left the Army to raise her family, but she was always very proud of being a veteran. She and her husband were stationed in the states and abroad and all their children were born on military bases. After they settled in Rochester, she held a series of positions in the educational system and earned several degrees with an "A" average from Empire State College. She was a longtime member of Trinity Emmanuel Presbyterian Church and later West Avenue United Methodist Church as well as a core member of the VFW
, faithfully attending meetings of the church and VFW until her health declined precipitously in 2007.
A celebration of Corene Washington's life will be held at 11 a.m. at Zion Hill Baptist Church, (250 Dr. Samuel McCree Way, Rochester) on Friday, January 4.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to support military families at http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces