A TIME TO BE BORN:
Eli Washington was born August.29,1940 in Natchez, Mississippi, the middle child of Joseph "Hutch" Washington and Mary Lou "Precious" Butler Washington. Hutch passed away when Eli was just 10 years old, leaving him to be raised by his mother along with his older brother "Joe" and his younger sister "Julia". He grew up in a very close-knit family of uncles and aunts, first-cousins, other cousins and friends, affectionately called Bijou.
A TIME TO PLANT:
Eli attended Deer Park Elementary School, Natchez Jr. College High School, and graduated from Sadie V. Thompson High School in 1959, After high school, he relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana where he lived with his Aunt Orelia and worked in a grocery store until 1961. He then relocated to the Oakland/ Berkeley, California area, to live with his brother, Joe. Eli found employment with the General Services Administration (GSA), US Public Services Health Hospital in San Francisco in the Motor Pool as a mechanic. In 1965 when an opening became available, he moved into a position with GSA Fleet Management/Motor Pool which took him to Redding, California, back to San Francisco and again to Redding. In 1971 he was promoted to Manager in the Motor Pool/Fleet Management Division of GSA and relocated to Yuma Arizona. He was the first African-American Manager to hold this position in the GSA.
In 1972, Eli's job again relocated him to Los Angeles, California. He lived in nearby Altadena and attended Pasadena City College. In 1978, he was again promoted and relocated to Sacramento, California, where he would live the rest of his working career, retiring in 2004 after 41 years of service. Under his management, his Motor Pool/Fleet Management Division had the highest rate of return of monthly sales of all the GSA Motor Pools across the country. He was always Employee of the Month, and over the years grew his fleet from 500 vehicles to 5000 vehicles. His work took him to Germany for training for several months, and to Hawaii to help a struggling Motor Pool.
A TIME TO LIVE:
While living and working in Redding, California Eli met his life-long wife and partner Hilda Howard. They were married in 197I, and she remained by his side through sickness and in health until they were parted by death on August 7, 2020. Even though Eli grew up in a strongly religious family, he did not confess Christ until 1980 when he was baptized by Reverend O.C.Jones and joined the Shiloh Baptist Church. He was ordained as a Deacon in 1993 by Reverend James Rodgers. Being employed in the Motor Pool Eli naturally became Chairperson of the Transportation Ministry, a position he held until his health began to fail. He also served on the Revival Committee and The Family Day Planning Committee.
A TIME TO HARVEST:
Eli loved cars and motorcycles, so much so that he collected them and never got rid of any car he owned. He would tinker with them and change things about them, like the time he took the gear shift off the steering column and put it on the floor of one of his cars. He cared deeply about people, and carried everybody's problems on his shoulders, mainly because he didn't know how to say "No'. From 2003 to 2012 he served as Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Sacramento, providing comfort to persons and families in trauma.
A TIME TO MOURN:
Eli was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Mary Lou Washington; his Son, Larry LaVanda Bassett; his Mother-in-Love Olivia Foster, and his Brother-in-Love Wendell Holmes.
He leaves to cherish his memory: His loving wife of 49 years, Hilda and son, Maurice Washington, Sacramento, CA; Daughters: Dwanda Trask and Dione Milan K, Washington, Cerritos, CA; Daughter-in-Love; Delores Minor Bassett, Dallas, TX; Grandchildren: Ashton Trask and Asia Gibson, New Orleans, LA, and Maya Angel and Amora Milan Washington, Cerritos, CA; Brother: Joseph Washington (Shirley), Hercules, CA; Sister: Julia Washington Holmes, Las Vegas, NV Brothers-in-Law Basil cobb (Gloria) and David Preston, Gloster, MS; Robert Howard andJeffFoster, Portland, oft Nephewsr Duan Washington (Lynette), Oakland, CA; Michael Washington, Antioch, CA; and Marlon Washington (Jennifer), Fairfield, CA; his little Brother-Friend, Otis Mazique, Jr Natchez MS; God-Son, Andrew Smith (Larasha), Sacramento, CA; and a host of grand-nephews and grand-nieces, cousins and friends.
Eli also leaves a group of "Brothers of choice"r willie"Mickey''fuce, Lonnie Buck, Stan Hunter, Charles Leg Darris Gooding, Frankie Law, and Richard Lee. Take your rest Eli. We all love you and will miss you dearly.
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