Mrs. Magdalene "Pete" Boyd Booker, 79, of 7301 Bull Hill Road, Prince George, Va., entered into eternal rest on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, at Southside Regional Medical Center after a courageous battle with kidney disease.
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Pete was born on Jan. 7, 1935, to the late Annie L. and Townsel Boyd in Inman, S.C., the third of four children. The family lived in Spartanburg, S.C., until she reached primary school, when they relocated to Bronx, N.Y. She attended Morris High School, and was a classmate of future Army Gen. Colin Powell. She would spend her summers with family in South Carolina, which is how she met her future husband. Upon her graduation from Morris High School, she earned a business degree from Monroe School of Business in Bronx, N.Y. She would ultimately use this degree to open her own catering company, Booker's Catering, which she owned and operated for 18-plus years.
Magdalene Boyd later married Army 2nd Lt. Napoleon Booker on April 15, 1956, at Victory Baptist Church in Bronx, N.Y., that began a marital odyssey lasting almost 58 years. Immediately after their union, the newlyweds moved to Fort Sill, Okla. It was here that their first child, Michael Anthony, was born on Feb. 2, 1957. Later, the happy family would receive orders to relocate to Stuttgart, Germany, where son Stanley Keith was born March 5, 1959.
While living abroad, Pete and her family took full advantage of opportunities to travel extensively all over Europe. She and her family lived in Germany and visited Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Italy, France, England, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Washington, Massachusetts and British Columbia, Canada. Their travels finally brought them home to the United States in 1968.
Always an active and faithful supporter of her husband and his career, Pete became involved with civic activities both on and off post, as well as Scouting with her sons, where she served as den mother to their Cub Scout troop. She was involved in the Army Community Service, and invested numerous volunteer hours fostering people-to-people relationships, unselfish service and a deep concern for others. It was for these endeavors that she was selected to represent Fort Lee Army base in competition worldwide for Army Wife of the Year in 1974.
The following year, she enjoyed her new role as grandmother to her only granddaughter, Bianca Booker. Shortly after, she became employed as a teacher with Gillfield Baptist Church, which lead to her promotion as daycare director. She served in this capacity from 1976-1985, until she left to begin her own in-home daycare. Known as the "Cake Lady," Pete then expanded her services into a successful catering business, Booker's Catering. She was especially noted for her delicious fried chicken. She owned and operated the business for over 18 (1990-2008) years until her health began to fail her.
In addition to being a devout wife, mother and grandmother of three, Pete was also involved in many professional organizations. She was an active member of the Blue Bonnets, vice queen of Classy Sassy Ladies of Prince George Red Hatters, Cockade Bowling Senate and the Richmond-Petersburg Chapter South Carolina State Alumni. Pete was also an avid bowler and casino enthusiast. She never missed an opportunity to participate in tournaments and championships.
She leaves to cherish her memory a loving and devoted husband of 57 years, Napoleon; sons, Michael Anthony and Stanley Keith; her only granddaughter, Bianca Booker-Smith (Kevin); grandsons, Michael Anthony Booker II (Jakeda) and Bryan Alexander Booker (Jessica); great-grandchildren, twins, Nicholas and Nathaniel, Jaden, Mikyla, Malia and Bria, all of Virginia; her loving sister, Mary Leewood (Cornell) of New York; niece, Crystal L. Morris (Stephen) of Tennessee; nephews, Cornell Leewood Jr., Joseph Wimberly and Shawn Boyd, all of New York; caregiver and goddaughter, Tywanda Parker; caregiver, Gladys Simmons (Richard). Pete also leaves behind a multitude of extended family, close friends and coworkers.
A devout wife, dedicated mother and grandmother, and loyal friend, Magdalene "Pete" Booker was a remarkable woman whose legacy will shine through everyone who knew her.
Services for Mrs. Magdalene "Pete" Booker will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb, 6, 2014, at Gillfield Baptist Church, 209 Perry St., Petersburg, Va.; the Rev. Dr. George W.C. Lyons Jr., pastor. Interment to follow at Southlawn Memorial Park.
Family visitation will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at the funeral establishment.
The family request that flowers and other arrangements be sent to the funeral establishment.
Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Mrs. Booker at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va., 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4, 2014