Willie James Mims obituary

Willie James Mims Obituary

Pittsburg, California, United States

November 30, 1944 - May 22, 2024

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Willie James Mims obituary

Willie James Mims Obituary

Nov 30, 1944 - May 22, 2024

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Willie James Mims was born to Edward and Lillie Mims on November 30, 1944, in McCaul, LA. He was one of nine siblings. He lived in California since he was two years old. Willie grew up in West Pittsburg, now called Bay Point, California, where he attended and graduated from Pacifica High School in 1963. In high school, Willie excelled in sports, including track and field, basketball, and football. Willie was concerned about issues revolving around environmental justice, especially in Pittsburg. In 1963, he entered the political arena for the first time, passing out flyers supporting the Rumford Fair Housing Act. George Ealy, a local political activist, organized that event.

Willie married Darlene Lea-Mims on July 15, 1967, and they celebrated 52 years of joyous marriage before she preceded him in death. From this union, they have two children, Dana and Marcus.

Willie graduated from Diablo Valley College in 1972 with an Associate of Arts Degree. He then transferred to San Francisco State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing in 1974. He proceeded to graduate school, where, in 1978, he earned an M.A. Degree in English/Creative Writing. Willie’s thesis was a collection of short stories called "The Boy Who Threw Rocks," loosely based on his childhood. Willie then earned a California Secondary Education Teaching Credential in English in 1979.

From 1965 to 1970, he was employed as a stevedore with the Concord Naval Weapons Station. From 1971 to 1987, he worked as a food service worker at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Martinez, California. Willie worked for the Vallejo City Unified School District for over 25 years, serving as Teacher/Teacher-in-Charge at John Finney High School, formerly Peoples High School. He retired from wage work in 2009.

Since retirement, he continued as an activist, advocating for the best interests of the community, parents, and students in the school system. Willie believed that parents and activists should monitor and observe the school districts in East County. This included monitoring and observing local governments and how they conduct the people's business.

He attended local and county-wide meetings (mainly those in Central and East Counties), bringing issues of concern to School Boards, City Councils, and the Board of Supervisors. His goal on all issues was to support students, parents, or people in their grievance redress.

Willie was a former mentor of the S.I.M.B.A (Safe In My Brother’s Arms) program, which focuses on boys from 8 to 16 to support self-esteem and served as a form of “manhood” training. He was a former East County Boys and Girls Club board member. He served as an "on-call" Educational Advocate for the YIN (Youth Intervention Network) Program. He served as a volunteer historian for the Parents Connected Organization. He was a representative of the Black Political Association in Pittsburg, CA, and a member of the Executive Committee of the East County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he served as its Education Chair. He worked as a volunteer for the Greater Faith Food Pantry, an agency serving and feeding low-income and underserved citizens of Pittsburg. He was a member of its board and volunteered four times per month. He was a member of the Antioch School District’s African American Male Initiative, a former representative on the Contra Costa Community College’s Hiring Policy Review Committee, a member of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s Equity & Disproportionality Committee, and a member of the Vallejo Unified School District’s LCAP & LCFF Committees.

Willie was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Lillie Mims, his sisters Wilma Douglas and Isabel Medford, and his brothers Melvin Mims, Mack Mims, and Walter Mims. He leaves behind his two children, Dana and Marcus (Cassandra) Mims; six grandchildren, Tasha Thompson, Nailah Thompson, Khiry Gosha-Mims, Zaheem Smith, Niara Mims, and Inaya Mims; and two great-grandchildren, Khira Gosha-Mims and Chance Gosha-Mims. He is also survived by sisters: Hilda Murdoch (Pittsburg), Nancy Mims-Burt (Pittsburg), and Ruth Mims-Jemerson (Oakland), Melodye Montgomery (Alameda), daughter-in-law Cassandra Waller-Mims, A Brother-in -law/Friend Larry Harold, who was always by his side, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and lastly, the East Bay Community.

Willie’s main goal was to educate, motivate, and support his community. He leaves a legacy of love, compassion, and service that will continue to inspire all fortunate enough to know him. Willie James Mims will be missed by his family, friends, and the community.

You can to the family or in memory of Willie Mims.


Quiet Hour/Wake Details:
May 31, 2024
Dan Scales Mortuary, 107 8th Street, pittsburg
Funeral Details:
11:00 a.m.
June 01, 2024
Delta Bay Community Church, 1020 E. Treagallas Rd, Antioch Ca
Details: Repast immediately following Burial Pittsburg Youth Development Center 1001 Stoneman Ave Pittsburg Ca 94565
Zoom id: https://www.youtube.com/live/ByrmIGxh0us?si=HRTmq7nKu_ccqdrB, Password:
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Repast Details:
June 01, 2024
Pittsburg Youth Development Center, Pittsburg Youth Development Center 1001 Stoneman Ave , pittsburg
Details: https://www.youtube.com/live/ByrmIGxh0us?si=HRTmq7nKu_ccqdrB
Visit zoom link


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