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Willie Lee Smith, active in church, block clubs; May 20, 1924 -- April 14, 2011

Willie Lee Smith, of Buffalo, an active churchwoman who was involved in forming the first block clubs on the city's East Side, died April 14 in Buffalo General Hospital after a brief illness. She was 86.

Born Willie Lee Marton in Baconton, Ga., she came to Buffalo in 1948. She worked at the Your Host Restaurant on Seneca Street and at Frontier Laundry.

A member of Calvary Baptist Church for more than 45 years, she served on the Usher Board for decades. She was a former member of the Order of the Eastern Star and was well known for her community activities at the Westminster Center on Adams Street.

She was the widow of Ernest Amos Williams, who died in 1979, and Louis C. Smith, who died in 2003. All four of her children, Essie Mae Cobb, Delores "Dee" Bailey, Ernest Williams Jr. and Willie James Williams, are also deceased.

Services will be at noon Saturday in Calvary Baptist Church, 1184 Genesee St., after viewing at 11 a.m.


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