Altamese Lewis Wrispus was born on August 30, 1928, in Lacoochee, Florida to the late Curtis and Josephine Evans Lewis. Her father, a Baptist deacon at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and her mother, a stewardess at New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, gave her a very diverse religious background. She attended an all-black grade school, Floyd Academy (Lacoochee, FL) where she excelled academically. She completed her high school education at Moore Academy (Dade City, FL) where she was named Salutatorian of the Class of 1945. Following her High School graduation, she matriculated to the then Florida Agricultural & Mechanical College, in Tallahassee, Florida. In 1948, she married the late Johnny Wrispus, and from this union, they were blessed with 2 beautiful daughters: Bernadette Louise and Evelyn Joyce. Her career life began working in hospitality at the Country Club in Ridge Manor, Florida. She then went to work at Moore-Mickens High School as a paraprofessional for a few years. Her next job would be at Kraft Foods in Lakeland, Florida. During her life she was also very involved in the community and political activism. She worked as a poll worker during the elections, volunteered to assist with voter registration and provided transportation to voters as well. She also remained very active in her church home, New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lacoochee, Florida. She held many positions in the church to include choir member, Steward, Stewardess, church clerk, and WMS President to name a few. In 2008 she received the Pearls of Mission Award from the Jessie D Smith Women’s Missionary Society. She was our prayer warrior and knowledge keeper! She constantly reminded us that God is the sustainer of it all, and family roots run deep! She and her sister Annie Bell played key roles in helping to pass the 1994 Rosewood Claims Bill. She was an advocate for change and encouraged everyone to do the same. She was preceded in death by her lifelong spouse, Johnny “Tab” Wrispus, her sister Annie Bell Lewis Lee, brother James “Mudcat” Grant, special nephew Elvin “Bo” Lee, and special cousin, like a sister, Lucille Rooks. She leaves to cherish her memory 2 daughters; Bernadette Wright (Samuel Sr) and Evelyn Wrispus Williams; 6 grandchildren: Samuel Wright Jr (Terrie), Ebony Baxter Pickett (Rubin Jr.), Avé Wright Gayner (Evanders), Jon Baxter, Benéa Ousley Denson, and Keri Ousley Miller (Roosevelt). 30 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren, dozens of godchildren, her beautiful sister Johnnie Mae Lopey, special daughter Debra Ann Creer, a friend of 90 years, Ms. Carlotta Meeks, and scores of grieving family and friends.
*Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have implemented necessary procedures during Visitations, Funeral Ceremonies, Gravesides, and other public and private ceremonies. We do ask that all visitors of these services to please continue to wear your masks and please remember to social distance. These new policies may be inconvenient, but due to the severity of the virus, we ask that everyone be considerate, patient, and safe with others as we try to get through this most difficult time. Seating during services may be limited so please be considerate of the immediate family especially.
*If you are attending a Graveside service or an Outdoor Celebration you are welcomed to bring your own chair as seating will be limited! We will provide water to make everyone as comfortable as possible. We thank you in advance for your cooperation during this time. We pray that everyone stays safe and cooperative with the current CDC rules.
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