Dr. Lucille R. Wallace
“Williamsburg’s Legendary Icon”
MOTTO: “If I can help somebody along the way, then my living will not be in vain.”
She was a well-known gospel radio personality, educator, and outstanding leader in the various churches and communities, both locally and nationally. Dr. Wallace was known for her beautiful smile, and her heart for people, always seeking ways to help others.
Lucille was born on April 13, 1930, to the late Ralley Robinson, Sr. and Victoria Hawkins Robinson of Toano, VA. She was the youngest of three siblings.
At the tender age of seven, Lucille accepted Christ as her Savior, was baptized, and joined the St. John Baptist Church in Toano, VA. She remained a faithful member, fulfilling such duties as an usher, choir member, pianist, secretary of the Sunday School (20 years), and church clerk (8 years). She was known as the Mother of the Gospel Choir.
Lucille was educated in the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. She furthered her education at the Virginia State College (University), Petersburg, VA; Bertie’s Beauty College of Cosmetology, Williamsburg, VA; and the Hampton Roads Business College, Newport News, VA. She served in the Williamsburg-James City County School System in such capacities as a school bus driver, cafeteria worker, teacher assistant, and secretary. Lucille retired from the WJCC School System after thirty-seven years of dedicated service. At the time of her retirement, she had become the administrative assistant to the school’s principal.
One of the areas in which Lucille excelled was that of radio broadcasting. She received her license in broadcasting and communication from the College of Communication/Radio in Philadelphia, PA.
Each Sunday morning for the past 66 years, Lucille and her family group, the Wise Gospel Singers, inspired the listening audience through songs on Radio Station WMBG in Williamsburg, VA. She would cheerfully extend the greeting: “Good morning, friends in radio land!” To many, she was known as the “Radio Angel.” As the manager and spokesperson for the group, Mrs. Lucille has been a voice for the community through the many dedications and announcements of interest to the public, which included birthdays, anniversaries, and special requests in memory of loved ones. Much of her broadcast was given to announcements regarding church programs and community activities. She offered these services free of charge. Not only did she advertise these events, but she also supported the various churches and organizations by taking the time to attend many of them. She often served as the Mistress of Ceremonies or Worship Leader for church programs, especially for the anniversary celebrations of gospel groups.
Mrs. Lucille probably rendered her services longer than any other local personality. She had a clear, distinct “radio voice” that people readily recognized to be hers. Throughout the years, Mrs. Lucille volunteered her time and gas to drive from her home in Toano, VA to the radio station in Williamsburg, VA (approximately 20 miles). Even at times when she felt like giving up, she would say, “I’ve got to go because the people will be listening for me.” Neither rain, hail, snow, or sleet kept Mrs. Lucille from her post of duty. Her motto was: “If I can help somebody along the way, then my living will not be in vain.”
Mrs. Lucille concluded each Sunday morning’s broadcast with the motto she coined for the Wise Singers’ first anniversary, as follows:
If any little word of ours can make a way brighter;
If any little song of ours can make a load lighter;
God, help us speak the little word and take a bit of singing,
Drop it in some lonely heart to start the echoes ringing!
Mrs. Lucille was also a Gospel Promoter. She encouraged individuals and singing groups by playing their songs on the radio and inviting them to participate on the Sunday morning broadcast. She had the support of the community because of her beautiful smile, pleasant personality, and her willingness to go the extra mile to help others.
In addition to being a radio announcer and gospel promoter, Mrs. Lucille offered her services to the community through her affiliation with Whiting’s Funeral Home as a Lady Attendant. She assisted families with homegoing services by helping them write family papers, obituaries, and the order of service. She was frequently called upon to read the acknowledgments during these services. People loved to hear her recite poems of inspiration and consolation, entirely from memory!
Mrs. Lucille has received several awards, recognitions, and honors in various categories. On June 21, 2014, Mrs. Lucille was blessed to receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Higher Learning Bible Institute International/Seminary for her many years of outstanding contributions to the community.
As the founder of the Volunteer Helping Hand Ministry, Dr. Lucille sponsored many benefit programs for those in need during the time of emergencies and disasters. God also gave her the gift of prayer ministry. She went to the hospitals, nursing homes, and the homes of the sick and shut-in and prayed for them. People have been healed and delivered as a result of Dr. Lucille’s prayers.
Dr. Lucille led a full, productive life. She enjoyed singing in gospel groups with her family and her church, planning programs, attending church services and special programs, reading the Bible, reading the newspaper, and traveling (especially with the Wise Gospel Singers on their annual vacation tour trips). Her passion, however, was helping others. She also loved being a part of The Glory Call, a morning ministry call that connected women all over the U.S. daily at 5:30 a.m. for prayer, songs, and Bible study. Dr. Lucille often said the Opening Prayer.
Dr. Lucille reluctantly retired from radio broadcasting at WMBG in August 2018, having diligently served the radio audience for over 66 years!
Dr. Lucille’s life’s journey ended on Tuesday morning, October 1, 2019, in Sentara Hospital in Hampton, VA after a brief illness. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert L. Wallace, and siblings, Elizabeth Robinson and Ralley B. Robinson, Jr.
Dr. Lucille leaves to love and cherish her precious memories and legacy, two children, Sylvester Wallace (Mary), of Hampton, VA, and Claretha Wallace Ludy (Daniel, Sr.), of Newport News, VA; 6 grandchildren, Sylvia Porter (Michael), of Toano, VA, Jacqueline Ludy, Daniel Ludy, Jr. (Danielle), both of Newport News, VA; Daryl Ludy (Sharda), of Charlotte, NC; Tammy Barker (Todd), of Hampton, VA, and Taylor Daniels, of Petersburg, VA; 10 great-grandchildren; 6 nephews; 4 nieces; an adopted niece, Marjorie Jackson, of Ellerbe, NC; great-nephews; great-nieces; and many caring cousins, relatives, and special friends, including Sis. Clementine Darden, Sis. Esterine Moyler, Dr. Mary Brett, Sis. Shelia Jones, Sis. Vinetta Robinson, Sis. Mildred Walker, Sis. Norma Fields, and her St. John family, especially the Noon Day Bible Study group, and her Glory Call family.
“To God be the Glory, for the life and legacy of our beloved, Dr. Lucille Robinson Wallace”
A Homegoing service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 12, 2019, in Bethel Restoration Center. Dr. Wallace will Lie in Repose from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday in Whiting’s Funeral Home and a Celebration of Life Wake will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, in Bethel Restoration Center, 6205 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com
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