Anne Lowery Wilson was born Nov. 1, 1944 in Valdosta, Ga., to the late Rev. Edward D. Lowery and Georgia Belle (Washington) Lowery.
She attended Winchester Avenue School in Monroe, N.C., and graduated from Logan High School in Concord and attended Central Piedmont Community College UNC-Charlotte.
As a child, she enjoyed living with her paternal aunt, Willie, and had fond memories of watching women make quilts, soap and canning vegetables. Although she grew up in the Jim Crow South, she had a privileged childhood and was staunchly protected from the humilities of the era by her father, in particular. She was doted on, was chauffeured from place to place in her father’s car, and enjoyed frequent trips to Savannah, Ga., and St Augustine, Fla., while visiting her father’s churches.
After graduation, she immediately caught a Greyhound bus and headed for New York City/Maryland, where she worked as a nanny. On one of her trips, she boarded a bus wearing a stylish black dress with three quarter-length jacket and sat down beside her future husband, (PFC) Walter Booker. Although the details regarding the role played by the little black dress remain in dispute, (she said she removed her jacket for comfort; he said it was for attention), Mama would later instruct her girls that “Every woman needs a little black dress.”
As a new wife she was equal to the task: She made sure that black-eyed peas were done by boiling the eyes completely off of them, baked beautifully durable pies, and could starch an Army uniform so stiff that bullets could bounce off them. Long before the end of her life, she was an extraordinary cook with a repertoire of recipes adored by the family. As example of her love of cooking good food for her family, a typical Christmas celebration included at least seven types of cakes, such as red velvet, Williamsburg, chocolate pound, chocolate layer, and coconut layer cake —all made from scratch—as well as more than a dozen types of cookies in addition to yeast rolls, as well as an assortment of homemade candies and snacks. She had recently perfected her dream fruitcake, a project on which she labored five years.
Her pride and joy were her three children, Teresa, Harold and Anita. She relished being a stay-at-home mother (something she was always thankful to her husband for) and took pride in educating her children on her own, long before home schooling was popular. She logged countless hours reading “Miss Twiggly’s Tree,” “Cubby Bear” and “There is a Mouse in Our House.” She lovingly maintained her home, sewed clothes, ensured that every Easter basket was heavily ladden and saw to it that every Christmas tree looked like an explosion of light and color. As the mother hen, she instilled morals, manners, and had zero tolerance for quarreling among her baby “chicks.”
As her children made their way through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public school system, she was a fierce advocate, a constant supporter, faithful confidant, and tireless protector of their education. Grades of “C” were comletely unacceptable, as was any reply from school officials other than “Yes.”
She worked for nearly 30 years in private-duty nursing. She selflessly worked multiple jobs when needed in order to provide activities such as summer music camp, summer vacations, and foreign exchange opportunities abroad for her children. She believed, “If you work hard during the school year, you should go somewhere duirng the summer.”
She could sew anything—from a bathing suit to a wedding dress. She could crochet, macrame, do latchhook and leatherwork, and knit things like cable sweaters. Moreover, she had an amazing green thumb and took pride in the radiant reds of her cannas, the broad leaves of her collard greens, the blossoms of her Japanese cherry tree and the annual visits of the hummingbirds. Mama enjoyed reading, often alternating between several books at a time. She enjoyed watching religious dramas, action movies and comedies on DVD. On TV, she was fond of westerns, cooking shows, documentaries and several Christian broadcasts. When she wasn’t listening to jazz, she played blues, new age, R&B, gospel and anything by Michael Jackson, Yanni and Kitaro. She liked taking cruises, traveling and staying warm.
She was always excited to hear the latest news of what her grandchildren were doing and laughed at reports of their newest pearls of (childhood) wisdom. She was proud that they could swim in deep water and were interesed in culural pursuits such as music. She bragged about how her grandchildren eagerly awaited Russian tea cookies and lemon cookies and ranked them above those made by other women. They always said, “My grandmother makes the best hot chocolate,” which, of course, she made from scratch.
She would often say “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, ” (putting accent on the have as she always did). She was a member of Spirit of Life Ministries but also partnered with other ministries as well. She felt a special connection with the ministries of Bill Winston, Bishop Clarence E. McClendon Ministries, F.W. Schambach, Joseph Prince, Creflo A. Dollar and the Daystar Television Network.
She is preceded in death by her father, Rev. E.D. Lowery; her uncles, Mr. Laurence Lowery, Jr. and Mr. Kelly Lowery; and her aunts, Miss Nora Lowery, Miss Sally Lowery, Mrs. Willie Lowery Richardson, and Mrs. Ida Lowery Perkins.
She leaves to mourn, and also rejoice in her memories, her beloved children: daughter, Teresa A. Booker, Ph.D. of New York City; son, Lieutenant Colonel Harold L. Booker of Osaka, Japan; daughter, attorney Anita A. Booker-Hay; son-in-law, attorney Andrew R. Hay; granddaughter Annie Hay, and grandson Darcy Hay, all of University Place, Washington; and ex-husband Walter L. Booker.
She leaves to cherish her memories relatives from the Haymon, Lowery, Walker and Washington sides of our family. Sister-aunts Karen Anthony, Francene Greene, Diane Haymon, Arnelle Howie, Rhudean Williams Leach, Joanne Morgan, Vonnie Pettigrew, Constella “Connie” Smith, Shelly Welton, and Barbara Womble; and brother-uncles Eugene “Butch” Daniels, James Harrell, Jadus Anthony and Marcus “Nardo” Anthony, in addition to a host of other long-time family friends.
She is, no doubt, currently, hugging and kissing her mother, father, beloved first cousin, Sergeant Major James W. Haymon and other relatives who preceded her to heaven.
The family extends its sincerest appreciation to Mr. William “Mr. Lem” Long for his generosity and carrying attention to our mother.
Special thanks to neighbors Dorothy “Dot” Crowder who kept a watchful eye out for “Ma Ann”; Dale Simpson, who was ready to help at a moment’s notice; and the pastors and members of Spirit of Life Ministries.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Long & Son Mortuary Service in Charlotte. The visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 24. The funeral will be from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
A repast will be held at the Spirit of Life (3318-B Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte) immediately following the service. Her children ask that you stop by and share stories that she can no longer tell herself.