East Orange Senior Services Manager Set to Retire

With George Britt and Merlyn Williams-Britt Credits: Photo by Reggie Stainfil

EAST ORANGE, NJ - The East Orange Division of Senior Services will celebrate the retirement of its charismatic leader, Catherine F. Willis with a gala Thursday Oct. 24 at The Atrium Country Club in West Orange.

Under her direction, Willis has implemented numerous programs, provided funding for trips and functions for the East Orange senior population; however her crowning achievement is undoubtedly the acquisition of funding for the construction the Bowser Family Senior Center.  

Concerning her retirement, Willis said, “On December 31, 2013 I will complete my employment journey. The last twelve years of my work history culminates with the position of managing the City of East Orange Division of Senior Services. I requested this appointment from my friend, Mayor Robert L. Bowser after I retired from the Girl Scout Council at age 62. My goal was to obtain for the Senior Citizen residents of East Orange, NJ a state of the art center that they could call their own. In addition I wanted to provide more programs and information that would improve the quality of life for older East Orange residents. My employment journey has been rewarding and successful. I have reached many of my goals and I am not tired yet.”

Other work and volunteer experiences include aide to New Jersey State Senator Wynona Lipman, founding member and interim director of  Day Care 100, (the first State funded Day Care Program in New Jersey)  now known as the Family Development Center, founding member of the Essex County Day Care Council, founding member and first vice-president of New Jersey Black Issues Convention, founding member and first President of the Essex County Democratic Women’s Caucus, Larrie West Stalks Civic Association, President, Chair, East Orange Democratic Committee, Essex County Board of Taxation Commissioner for the past 13 years, three time Delegate to the National Democratic Convention, 1992 National Democratic Convention Volunteer Organizer at Madison Square Garden, New York City, 1979 President Jimmy Carter’s appointment to the Whitehouse Conference on Families.

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