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Former Mayor Anthony A. Williams announced today that his mother Virginia E. Hayes Williams died in Los Angeles after a brief illness. Mrs. Williams, a former professional singer and postal worker, was 87.

A colorful and energetic woman, Williams was known for her enthusiasm for the District of Columbia and her love of song. It has been said that she would never miss an opportunity to sing, and did so frequently at official functions, churches and social gatherings.

Virginia Williams was the mother of eight children and managed to send them all to college. When her son Anthony Williams announced his candidacy for mayor in Petworth in 1998, she was by his side and she stayed in the District throughout his eight years at the helm of the Nation’s Capital.

She quickly assumed the role of “First Mother” of the District and her days were filled with appearances where she would serve as a surrogate for the mayor, attending events at schools, ribbon cuttings and senior citizens centers.

“My mother was a great joy in my life, and she had a huge impact on the District, “said former Mayor Anthony Williams, now Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Federal City Council. “She was an incomparable performer on stage, but her real performance was in service to the children and the families of our city,” he added.

The Williams family is planning a memorial service for Mrs. Williams. will provide the details for the memorial service as soon as the information becomes available. The service will be held in the District of Columbia later in the year.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Covenant House in the District of Columbia,

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