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Willie Elizabeth Patterson Rose

She was born in Kingfisher County, OK.
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Willie is the youngest of three daughters born to William Robert Patterson and Florence Etta Patterson in Kingfisher County Oklahoma. Her grandparents had settled there during the second 1889 Land Run. The family moved to Langston, Oklahoma when her oldest sister entered college. Willie attended the Training School and the University High School. She graduated at age 16 as valedictorian of her class. After her first three years of college, illness forced her to take a year of rest. However, World War II began and Willie embarked on an interesting and adventurous career, which included work as an USO Program Director, Service Club Hostess and eventually Civil Service.

She moved to Lawton, Oklahoma in August 1941 to help her mother get settled in her new home. Due to the start of World War II, she began working there and remained for over 20 years. She was a charter member of the Northside Chamber of Commerce and served as secretary for eighteen years. She worked with local Black businesses in helping them with their taxes, business records and inventories. She became the first Black Notary Republic and helped many service men and their wives secure birth certificates and other forms needed for military service. Her father and several local men established the Lawton Chartered Negro Mission to aid service men and their families who could not qualify for public assistance. They paid rent, utilities and bought food for many young soldiers. Willie and her sister, Gladys Finch, an elementary school teacher, served as secretaries for the Mission for its entire existence.

When her husband retired from the army, the family moved to Oklahoma City. In spite of working full time, Willie prepared income taxes and business records until she moved to Oklahoma City and began working for the Internal Revenue Service. Willie resumed her federal service and completed her education by receiving a B.S. in Personnel Management from Oklahoma City University.

Willie retired from F.A.A. with 30 years of service, which included Fort Sill and Internal Revenue Service. She received many awards for her work especially in recruiting, hiring and promoting minorities. The city of Oklahoma City presented her a public service award for her work in hiring handicapped individuals.

Willie has numerous accomplishments including: first female and charter member of Northside Chamber of Commerce of Lawton, Oklahoma; first African American hired in classified position at Fort Sill and later became the first Black supervisor; volunteer and board member of Oklahoma City YWCA; as personnel committee chair, she was called to New York to interview interns for the National YWCA Board; served as the chair of committee when the first Black Executive Director of the Metropolitan YWCA was hired.

She is past president of the Urban League Guild; docent of N.T.U. Art Association at the Omniplex; life member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority; was charter member of the undergraduate chapter at Langston University in 1937, which was the first undergraduate chapter of a Pan Hellenic Sorority in the State of Oklahoma; served four years as national trustee; served as President of Oklahoma City chapter; first Black President of OKC Chapter of Zonta International and represented the chapter in Hong Kong in 1992 at Zonta International; state President of Oklahoma Federated Womenââ?¬â?¢s Clubs for five years and OKC Federation President for 14 years; presently serving as treasurer and has held this position since 1974; served four years as representative to National Association of Colored Womenââ?¬â?¢s Clubs, Executive Board.

Willie is a fifty year member of the Order of Eastern Star; fifty year member of Daughters of Isis and 25 year member of the Links, Inc. She moderated discussion groups for OKC Library and Negro History and Literature at the El Reno Federal Reformatory. She also moderated nine years of Great Books of the Western World. She has been on the Mayorââ?¬â?¢s Committee on Physical Disabilities for over 35 years; member of the Governorââ?¬â?¢s Committee on Status of Women for four years; recruited two students from Langston University who received $25,000 scholarships each as IRS scholars in the Intern Program.

Since retiring, she enjoys volunteering with her many organizations, reading, working crossword puzzles, cooking and playing bridge.

She is a widow of Major (RTD) William Y. Rose, first Director of the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, who served for 18 years. She has two daughters, Mildred and Sandra Rose, one grandson, Michael Y. Rhone, his wife Traci and three great grandchildren, William, Brianna and Brandon.