WHEN Annabelle Taylor Williams retired from the Philadelphia School District's food-service division in 1984, her service to the city was just beginning.
Because of her love for children, she decided to volunteer her services as a "foster grandparent" with the Mayor's Office of Community Services at the Thomas Jefferson Children's Rehabilitation Hospital. In that role, she took care of children with special needs by providing them with her warm presence and loving touch.
"She found great comfort and enjoyment in that work," her family said.
Looking after little ones was like second nature to this caring woman. Besides her three children, she had five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.You can be sure, they all received their share of her loving concern.
Annabelle Williams, who worked at various schools in the city in food service and who previously was a longtime member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union as a garment inspector, died April 20. She was 103 and lived in West Oak Lane.
As a centenarian, Annabelle received the various resolutions, certificates and best wishes from the city, including Mayor Nutter, the state Legislature and President Obama.
She was also an active churchwoman, serving Miller Memorial Baptist Church in various capacities under the pastorate of the late Rev. J. Luke Jones. She was one of the founding members of the church's Pioneer Usher Board in 1954.
"She loved her church and served faithfully," her family said.
Annabelle was born on Sept. 24, 1908, in Jasper, Fla., when Theodore Roosevelt was president. She was the middle child and only girl of the children of Martha and Jesse "Dett" Taylor. Her brothers, Julius and Frank, preceded her in death.
The family moved to Columbia, S.C., where she graduated from Booker T. Washington High School.
When she was 18, the family moved to Philadelphia. They lived in North Philadelphia before moving to West Oak Lane in 1960.
She married the late Roosevelt "Ted" Williams in 1930.
Annabelle worked at the Oyster House restaurant in Rittenhouse Square before joining the ILGW and becoming a garment inspector, making sure clothing produced in the city met exacting standards.
She is survived by two daughters, Regina Lawson and Doris Murray; a son, Roosevelt Williams Jr.; five grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters. She was predeceased by another daughter, Loretta Trueheart.