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Over the years there have been a number of people, good friends, best friends, parents, brothers and others who have gone home. However, there have never been three in the same month.

All three of these Black men had a common denominator, they lived God’s greatest commandment, “love.”

Theodore “Teddy” Cleveland was first. He loved his wife, Gerri, his children, grandchildren, family members, people, horses, and Unity Baptist Church.
Second was the mayor of the Hill, Elbert Hatley. The mayor loved his wife Josephine, his children, grandchildren, his family, Macedonia Baptist Church and the opportunity to use his God-given ability to revitalize the Hill District.

Third was Levi “Pal” Williams who was nicknamed by his parents and he lived it to the fullest. Throughout his 80 years he proved to be an honest to goodness “Pal” to all of those he came in contact with. Pal loved his wife Dolores, son Mark, grandchildren, his brother Nathaniel, family and the overall community. I knew Pal the longest—we met when we were about 12 years of age.

I was extremely fortunate to have been able to describe all three as a friend, because oft times people that are referred to as friends are really just people you know.
Reverend Margaret V.L. Tyson, pastor of Trinity AME Church, delivered the Eulogy, and we departed singing and listening to “Soon and very Soon” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
Sleep well my brothers, you have earned the right to rest.

(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum page.)



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