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Shelba Jean Mackey Wilson
Nicknames: “Shel”, “Peaches”, “Mack the Knife”
Birthdate: June 1, 1938
Birthplace: Dixie, Georgia
Immediate Family: She was the daughter of George Murrell Mackey and Nina Lee Watts.
Shelba Attended Cross Roads School, where she completed kindergarten.
Attended Adams Station elemantary school in North Brunswick, New Jersey
Attended the following public schools in New Brunswick, New Jersey
Nathan Hale Elementary School and Roosevelt Junior High School
Graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1956.
Graduated from Trenton State Collegein 1960 where I obtained a BA degree in Music Education with Vocal Emphasis and Double Minor Degrees in English and Psychology.
Graduate study also done at Trenton State College.
Was a soloist at the New Brunswick Presbyterian Church.
Taught Music Education grades k-12 in Franklin Township, New Jersey.
Taught third grade and music at Moriah Yeshevia Academy, a private school in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Director/teacher at Military Nursery School in Machinato, Okinawa.
Director of Troop and Chapel Choirs in Machinato, Okinawa.
Founding director of an After School Day Care Program for the City of Alex, Virginia
Substitute Teacher in Dover, Delaware
Substitute Teacher Fairfax County, Virginia 1970-1988
Was a realtor with CAREER PROPERTIES and ERA LAKEWOOD, and she also worked in the retail industry for approximately 15+ years with MEMCO, SERVICE MERCHANDISE, AND JCPENNEY
Full time teacher/teaching assistant at Fairfax County Public Schools—Retired in 2000.
Taught Alternative Education for grades 7-8/9 for three years and grades 9-12 for 9 years.
While in high school, I was involved in several extra-curricula venues: music groups, drama club, yearbook, and sports...sports...sports. Won letters in several different sports: basketball, volleyball, badminton, and softball.
Played City League basketball. Was a forward on two teams..THE BOMBARDIERS & THE CITY SLICKERS.
Shelba says, “I once gave serious consideration to being a physical education major, but due to having weak wrists and the distinct possibility of having to have surgery performed, I decided to pursue a musical career instead.
The rest is history!” Served as the director of several music groups, both stateside and abroad. Even directed with a “chopstick” while living in Okinawa. Studied with quite a few famous musicians while attending college. Sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City. While at Trenton State College, organized and launched the college’s radio station WTSC. Shelba Played the chimes at the station. She played piano and organ.
Was active in the Drama Department and appeared in several plays, including one entitled “THE DESK SET”
Was a member of The Greek Social Sorority—Philomathean Sigma. Was taught and learned how to do the Chi Chi by and with “Peg Leg Bates”, the famous African-American dancer and entertainer.
A community activitist, avid reader, people person.
Shelba was very Community Minded and enjoyed connecting with neighbors and others. She served as president of the Brighton Neighborhood Association for several years and after her term ended, she continued to help improve the conditions in the community for two decades. She started neighborhood community block party events for Families and kids to attract local business, state legislators, and city officials.
Shelba was also very instrumental in the accessibility, improvement, and expansion of Senior Recreation Services in the City of Montgomery, the current conditions of many were no longer accessible to Seniors as they aged or became disabled. The Crump Center on Congressman Dickerson Drive was her vision so people regardless of disability could visit & join in need recreation & learn of other life enhancing services.
William & Shelba were married on December 22, 1962, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. They had three children.
Her daughter Sabrina-Marie says “Mom ALWAYS said she was on her honeymoon. She could not wait for her ‘Billsey’ to return home, no matter if he was just going to the shed attached to the house.”
Shelba is survived by: husband, William Jones Wilson; daughter Sabrina Marie of Washington, D.C; William Murrell Wilson (Jackie Henderson) Wilson of Lexington KY, and their children, Shelby and William Avery Wilson also of Lexington, KY, and a daughter, Tiffany Jean Delaney (Neil) and their children, Jonah and Brendan of Burlington, VT, and their family includes three awesome granddogs named Charlie, Mollie, and Augie.
Shelba’s parents died before she was eleven years old. Because she was raised as an orphan, she began to reconnect with relatives of her father George Murrell Mackey and Nina Lee Watts in the last three decades. She leaves behind a host of cousins in The Mackey, Watts, Stokes, Garvin, Wilson, and Wright families.