Lifelong Montclair, an aging-in-place initiative of the Township of Montclair, has partnered with the Montclair Senior Citizens Advisory committee and the Montclair Center BID to name a Montclair resident Senior of the Month, highlighting all that our senior residents bring to our community.
The Senior of the Month for October is Lillie B. White:
What is your age and where were you born? I was born in Hertford, N.C., 82 years ago, to the late Dorothy and Joe C. Perry. I married Thomas White and have two sons, Victor White and Thomas White.
When did you move to Montclair and why? I moved to Montclair in 1954. I moved because I had an aunt and uncle in Montclair. My Uncle James and Aunt Margaret Gregory had a business here called Montclair Venetian Blinds and Shade Company on Bloomfield Avenue. At that time, it was a very nice and quiet town to live and raise children. Both of my sons were born and grew up in Montclair.
Are you currently employed? If so, doing what? If you had a career, what was it? I am not employed. I retired from the Bell System after 30 years. I started out in Western Electric as a telephone operator, then I was sent to AT&T and promoted as senior clerk, print and graphic buyer, and worked as a trainer at the Training Center. When I retired, I was the assistant manager in Purchasing and many other departments- too many to name. I was one of the first Two Thousand Notable American Women in American to receive this award from the American Biographical Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina. I attended Hertford grammar and high school and graduated from East Orange High School. I received a certificate in training and development and coaching and counseling from Kean College. I attended West Caldwell Community Continuing Education and received a certificate in business and supervisor certificate. I received several certificates in the AT&T Training Center in classes they offered.
How are you currently engaged in the community? I am a member of the Landlord and Tenant Advisory Committee.
What organizations or clubs are you affiliated with or a member of? At my church, I have been a deaconess for 20 years. I was the chair of Deaconess Board for 18 years. I work with the Missionary and served as chair for 10 years. I have chaired Women’s Day, Church anniversaries, and Pastor Retirement Dinner committees. I was one of the people who started the Senior Service Ministry at my church and still work with them. I still work with the youth at my church. I volunteered at the Youth House in Newark as a counselor when Joe Clark and the Rev. A. Craig Dunn were there.
Have you done any volunteer work? If so what type and with what organization? Back in the 1980s I started working with the National Council of Negro Women in Montclair and worked as their secretary for many years and became a Life Member and received a couple of awards for my services. In 2008, I worked on Renée Bakerville’s campaign. Worked on the PTA board when my children were in school.
What are some of the most important lessons you feel you have learned throughout your life? One of the important lessons I have learned is how to listen to what other people are saying. I learned how to deal with difficult people.
What are your plans for future? How does Montclair fit into these plans? My plans for the future is to slow down and enjoy my family, stay healthy, and continue to pray to God for strength. I will always be ready and willing to help in Montclair as long as I can.
If you know of a Montclair resident age 55+ who should be featured, call Katie York, director of Senior Services/Lifelong Montclair, at 973-509-4967.