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Autrilla Watkins Scott

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Autrilla Watkins Scott

Autrilla Watkins Scott entered this world on May 24, 1930 in the small town of Hope, Arkansas at the height of the great depression to Lewis Watkins and Mary Ellen Deloney-Watkins. Autrilla was the youngest of seven children. Autrilla was a proud alumni of the only A-Rated all Black school south of the Mississippi, Yerger High School in Hope, Arkansas. She received her high school diploma in 1949 and went on to graduate from The Yerger Business School in 1950, where she mastered short hand and typing in hopes of becoming a secretary. As a teenager Autrilla worked in her brother Hosea's café and provided housekeeping services for local residents. One of these residents hired her to babysit a young boy named William Jefferson Clinton, who would go on to become the 42nd President of the United States of America. Years later the two became reacquainted and would visit during his frequent trips to California. Shortly after finishing business school, she met and eloped with her beloved husband of 55 years, Olen M. Scott Sr. In 1950 the couple moved to Delano, CA and became the doting parents of two children, Sharon and Olen Jr. In 1955 the family moved to Long Beach, CA and settled into the Carmelitos housing community which was the only integrated housing community in Long Beach where Autrilla was hired to showcase the community to potential residents.Years later Autrilla was hired as a nursing care technician at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital. She would go on to pass the board and become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). After 30yrs of service, Autrilla retired in 1991. Autrilla's retirement in 1991 signaled the beginning of her new career, a full-time community activist in the City of Long Beach. Autrilla was no stranger to community service and volunteerism, she had given many hours of service to the Girl Scouts, St. Vestal CME, Elks I.B.P.O.E. of W Victoria Temple #609, Senior Olympics planning committee, and several health and social service organizations One of her proudest feats was becoming a graduate of the city of Long Beach's Neighborhood Leadership Program & NCCJ where she learned how to write grants and empower other community members by teaching them skills to better their neighborhoods. In 2000, Autrilla's diligence in advocating for her community was rewarded in the form a street named her honor, this distinction made Autrilla the only African American woman in the city of Long Beach to have a street named in her recognition. Autrilla loved to read and write. Under the guidance of Manazor Gamboa of the Homeland Community Cultural Center she honed her love of poetry writing and created the well know poem "America Why Won't You Be Fair to Me". Autrilla would go on to publish two books, "Stories From the Past" and "A Place Called Hope". Autrilla accepted Christ at an early age. As an adult she attended Bethel CME Church (Formerly St. Vestal and Hashaway Community CME) in Long Beach, CA. Autrilla loved reading the bible and would eagerly engage in conversations about her favorite Apostle Paul. At her church Mrs. Scott was a committed member of the congregation, serving as the missionary society president, leader of the Mattie E. Coleman, member of the nurse's circle, and lay department. Autrilla leaves to mourn her sister, Minnie Dixon, daughter, Sharon McLucas (David), son Olen Scott Jr. (Audrey), surrogate sons, Willie Strong and William Walker, grandchildren, Natachia Scott Faulkner, Autrilla "Sheba" Gillis, Glennis Seldon, Edward Scott, and Olenda Scott, great-granddaughter, Kimani Tindal, godson, Jeffery Pruitt, special God-grans, Jordan Stinson, Clifford Stinson and William Burroughs. A host of nieces, nephews, cousin, extended family and special friends. A public viewing will be held at Bethel C.M.E. Church on Friday, February 22, 2013 12pm - 6pm, 1953 Martin Luther King Blvd., Long Beach. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1pm, Grace Brethren Church of Long Beach, 3590 Elm Ave., Long Beach. Please sign the guestbook at www.presstelegram.com/obits.
Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2013
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