Willie Mae Lawrence was born September 3rd, 1940 in Atlanta, Georgia. She married Gregory Dabney on September 17th, 1970. Together with her husband, Willie Mae Dabney had a family and created multiple businesses. During this time, she also completed her college education and began a passionate career as a registered nurse. She enjoyed being a nurse for many years until she retired. It was at this time she began the ultimate endeavor with her husband by creating the much-adored D & D Barbeque. This dream business was affectionately titled after their pet names, Doll and Don.
She loved spending time with family, gardening, fishing, shopping as well as occasionally (and with much humor) trash talking. She loved the holidays and all they entailed. She routinely celebrated those moments with her enthusiasm for cooking and spending time with her family – especially her grandkids. These were her favorite times to catch up on recent events. She was a walking history book and library. She loved sharing her thoughts on a wide variety of topics.
Additionally, Willie Mae Dabney enjoyed playing card games. When this was coupled with her witty banter or “trash talking,” everyone was sure to have plenty of fun and side-splitting laughter. She truly made those moments special.
As it is with great people throughout history, Willie Mae Dabney was known by many names: Doll, Momma, Auntie Doll, Grandma Mommy and Mrs. D. She was an absolutely fantastic cook and often made many family members their individual favorite dishes. This in itself is a testament to one of the many ways she expressed her love for us all. It was what she loved to do. Of her many names and titles, probably the most prominent is that of “First Lady” of her husband Gregory Dabney’s heart. Perhaps the most telling gift to him is that of a marriage of over 50 years. For it must be said that Mr. and Mrs. Dabney were blessed to have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
To some, this may be seen as a moment to mourn. But we all must choose to make this a moment to celebrate. Willie Mae Dabney deserves for her life to now be looked upon as a celebration. For we all are better for having known her and for having loved her.
Willie Mae Dabney was preceded in her passing by her 1st daughter, Patrina McIver and is survived by her husband, Gregory Dabney, her eldest son Isaac McIver, her son Gregory Dabney II and his wife Kendra, as well as her daughter and son-in-law Panshion and Mark Manson. Her love also remains with her grandchildren; Ilisha McIver, Bryce Dabney, Lauren Dabney, Sean Manson and Maliah Manson.
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