Dr. Sondra Kathryn Wilson
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Dr. Sondra Kathryn Wilson, formerly of Wilmington, NC, of Oak Bluffs, MA, died Sunday, July 11, 2010, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. Memorial services were held 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 17, 2010, at Saint Mark Catholic Church, Wilmington, NC.

She was born in Columbia, SC, to Laura Clemmons Powell and William Wilson, Sr. As a child she was always very studious. She graduated from Williston Senior High School in Wilmington, NC. Sondra obtained her undergraduate degree from Elizabeth City State University, in Elizabeth City, NC. Prior to residing on Martha's Vineyard (Oak Bluffs) MA, she was a long time resident of New York City where she earned two masters degrees and a PhD from Columbia University. Sondra was an active member of St. Thomas Catholic Church in New York City. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and many other professional and civic organizations. Sondra was a senior associate at the W.E.B. Dubois Institute at Harvard University, founder and president of the James Weldon Johnson Foundation, Inc., and executor of James Weldon Johnson's literary estate. She also worked as director of research in the national office of the NAACP. Sondra was a passionate student of history and an advocate of education. As executor of the Johnson literary estate, she worked tirelessly to get Johnson's literary works reprinted. She was successful in obtaining the reprint of Johnson's work which includes: Along This Way: An Autobiography of James Weldon Johnson and Black Manhattan. Sondra also authored: The Crisis Reader: Stories, Poetry, and Essays from the N.A.A.C.P.'s Crisis Magazine, Complete Poems by James Weldon Johnson, The Opportunity Reader, The Messenger Reader, Lift Every Voice and Sing, Lift Every Voice and Sing: Selected Poems, In Search of Democracy: The N.A.A.C.P. Writings of James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and Roy Wilkins (1920-1977), Saint Peter Relates an Incident: Selected Poems, The Selected Writings of James Weldon Johnson: New York Age Editorials (1914-1923), The Selected Writings of James Weldon Johnson: Social, Political, and Literary Essays and Meet Me at the Theresa: The Story of Harlem's Most Famous Hotel.

She is survived by her mother, Laura Clemmons Powell of Wilmington, NC; two sisters, Dianne Jackson of Centreville, MD, and Patricia Pleasant of Princeton, NC; four brothers, William Wilson, Jr. (Lillie) of Garner, NC, Michael Wilson (Janet) of Burke, VA, Craig Wilson (Denise) of Austell, GA, and Dennis Wilson of Wilmington, NC; two uncles, George Clemmons of Leland, NC, and Levander Kennedy of Wilmington, NC; three aunts, Virginia Thurman, Mary McKay and Joyce Clemmons of Wilmington, NC; seven nieces, three nephews, two grandnieces, five grandnephews, a host of relatives, friends and colleagues and her Godmother, Mrs. Velma Merrick of Castle Hayne, NC.

We deeply appreciate the many expressions of friendship extended to us during this time. Your concern, love and numerous acts of kindness are most sustaining and shall be remembered. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in honor of Dr. Sondra Kathryn Wilson to the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Suite 412S, 1256 Briarcliff Road, EMORY UNIVERSITY, Atlanta, GA 30306 or by Website: www.jamesweldonjohnson.emory.edu

A Service of John H. Shaw's Son Funeral Home

Online condolences at StarNewsOnline.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Wilmington Star-News on Jul. 18, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
November 6, 2011
We were stunned and saddened this evening to learn from the Internet that Sondra had died. We came upon the news when searching for a current mailing address, because the Post Office had returned our recent letter to her as "no forwarding address." Her death is a great loss to her family, her friends, and the Historical profession's understanding of 20th century African-American history. Having long enjoyed our exchanges of correspondence, phone calls, and occasional history workshops, we will miss her dearly.

Bob Zangrando and Lisa Pace
University of Akron
History Department
October 11, 2011
Happy Birthday Sondra Kaye

Still loving and missing you so much (Michael)

Love Always
Mike, Jan, Thema and Mikey (Wilson)
Michael Wilson
August 31, 2011
I just learned this morning 8/31/11 of the passing of Sondra. We lived next door to each other in the Residence Hall at Teachers College, Columbia University. She credited me with the subject of her dissertation and I credited her with the subject of my post-doc research. She was beloved and I am overwhelmed, but so pleased that she achieved many of her goals especially being at Harvard. Condolences to family and friends.
Sincerely, Dr. Zakiyyah Muhammad
July 31, 2010
Dr. Wilson will be truly missed. I had to the opportunity to take care of her for part of her hospital stay. I still remember the way she would brighten up when talking about her work. Although the time was short, I am thankful for the opportunity to care for her and learn about her life/work. I offer my condolences to the family.
Vernon Rayford
July 31, 2010
Brother M. Wilson, you and your family have been in my prayers. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.
Pastor Harry Pilson
July 30, 2010
Dr.Sondra K.Wilson has left her mark engraved in history to be admired by all that follow.Dr.Wilson(Kay Kay to all of her family,friends,and classmates) was a gift sent to us by God.

Kay Kay was and will always remain in our heart as a good friend with a good spirit,a good heart,and a million dollar smile.Kay Kay's life is a testimony to all that there are no boundaries imposed on us.

Thank you God for Kay Kay.

Eric A. Lowe
Eric Lowe
July 28, 2010
The Last Graduating Class of Williston Senior High School members are scattered near and far but are always joined together by our legacy. Sondra is gone physically but remains forever in the hearts of her classmates and in the legacy of Williston.
Dorothy Riley
July 28, 2010
Billy Wilson and Family: I hope and pray that the fond memories the family has of Kay Kay will sustain you for many, many years. Be proud of her numerous accomplishments and rest assured that she is now resting in peace. Best regards, Teddy & Lucy Aikens, Raleigh, North Carolina, Williston Class of 1968
July 28, 2010
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Marilyn Shaw
July 27, 2010
Billy and family,
May God continue to strengthen you and your family during this time of the loss of your dear sister. "Weeping endures for a night, but the joy of
the Lord comforts us all in the morning".
Class of '66
Carolyn McKissick Henderson
July 26, 2010
Mrs. Laura and family
I have so many fond memories of high school experiences and adventures. I have gone over them (laughed and cried) as if they were yesterday. May your memories comfort you. Also, sending prayers from my mother, Thomasenia.
Gladys Greene-Smith
July 22, 2010
Wilson Family,
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Kay Kay.. My memories of her are of our high-school chats and social gatherings at Williston. As you know, that was several years ago, but it is apparent that she accomplished much, which I am sure you are proud and grateful. May God bless you and keep you during this time.
Shirley Trapp-McQueen
Atlanta, GA
Shirley Trapp-McQueen
July 19, 2010
May God bless and keep you doing this time. As a mother who has lost a child I know what you are going through. My prayers are with you and your family.

Tanya Hardy-West
Randallstown, MD
July 19, 2010
I am sorry about your loss. May precious memories sustain you as you face this life challenge.
Carolyn McNeil-Murrell
July 19, 2010
Dear Mr. Wilson,

I hope that you are well. I send by attachment and in the body of this communication the tribute to Dr. Wilson which have you kindly agreed to read at her memorial service tomorrow in Wilmington. Thank you once again for creating an opportunity for us at the Johnson Institute to pay tribute to your sister’s accomplishments in scholarship and in building institutions.

Dr. Calinda Lee and I look forward to hosting you and members of your family at the James Weldon Johnson Award Ceremony on November 8, 2010 at The Carter Center of Emory University. In honor of Dr. Wilson, we will award her the James Weldon Johnson Medal for Humanitarian Service. We hope that you and members of your family will attend the award ceremony, and thus accept the Johnson Medal on Dr. Wilson’s behalf.

I look forward to remaining in contact with you.

Best wishes,

Rudolph P. Byrd
Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies
Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute
Emory University
1256 Briarcliff Road, Bldg. A
412 Briarcliff West
Atlanta, GA 30306
Tel 404.727.2515
Fax 404.727.2539
Rudolph Byrd
July 18, 2010
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Ernest Mcneil
July 18, 2010
Laura,Billy and Family,
I am saddened to hear the news of Kay Kay's passing. I still have a picture of her on a boat ride - a more joyous occasion we all took together many years ago. She accomplished a lot in her life more than a lot of us who have been here far longer will ever do.
May God comfort us all and help us to think of the good times.
Ronald Franks
July 18, 2010
Laura and the Wilson Family,
I am saddened to hear of the passing of your dearly loved daughter and sister.
I remember when Kay Kay lived in Jervay among all of us and even though she was a little behind me in HS, I still know she aspired to be the best. She did accomplish her goals in her time here on this Earth.
She will be missed.
Patricia Davis Green
July 18, 2010
May God keep and comfort you during these difficult times. May the good times you shared overpower the grief and help you to rejoice in her life. Our lives are richer because she was a part of us. My prayer for you is for peace in your spirits and that God will surround you with His love. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning. Audrey Gaines Clark
Audrey Clark
July 18, 2010
Billy and Family, I hope that time, prayer, friends and memories will give you the strength to move through this period of grief into the land of hope. Be at peace. Millicent Brown Fauntleroy, Williston Class of 1966
Millicent Brown Fauntleroy
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