Priscilla Chambers was a devoted mother and grandmother with the most infectious laugh. Her caring ways and generous acts were her legacy to so many lives she touched over the years. A true people person, Priscilla was a friend to many and a stranger to none. She never seemed to have a hard time meeting new people and made everyone she met feel comfortable in her presence. She simply adored her sweet family and shared so much of herself with each and every one of them. Priscilla leaves behind a warm collection of fond memories.
So much of the 1940s were characterized by WWII. It’s hard to explain how much of an impact the war had on all aspects of life. Many basic items such as sugar, butter, meat, and gasoline were rationed to ensure that everyone’s needs were met. It was a time of great significance in our nation. By 1945, just a few months before the war officially ended in Europe, Arthur and Tarvie Saunders welcomed home their newborn daughter, Priscilla born on November 5th in Chicago, Illinois. She was born to hardworking parents; her father a machinist, and her mother, a homemaker. The second youngest in a family of nine children, she knew the value of a dollar and pitching in around the house to help out the growing family.
As a young child, Priscilla was a happy girl who absolutely wouldn’t be caught in anything other than a dress! She loved children and would often babysit her nieces and nephews over the years. With a fantastic memory and a way with fashion, she earned herself the nickname, “little lady.” From an early age, she had her mind set on success completing her education with Chicago Public Schools before attending school in Milwaukee where she excelled in administrative courses in business. Settling in Milwaukee as a young single mother to her sons, Andre and Mark, she worked hard to support them in every way she could. Her daughter, Martina and son, Jason joined the family after Priscilla happily joined in marriage. Her early mothering years were spent playing, cooking, and reading tirelessly to them. They relied on her to kiss and heal their childhood scrapes and bruises. Being a mom brought her great joy and she took pride in providing them with a comfortable home. She instilled in each of her children a strong set of values and being generous to those in need. By the time the kids were school aged, the marriage had ended and she switched gears again into the life of a professional.
Priscilla began volunteering in the Riverwest neighborhood where she lived. When she saw the need, she started and successfully ran a credit union in the Riverwest neighborhood. Priscilla’s wide range of career roles spanned from administrative assistant positions with the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and the National Labor Relations Board to working as a field representative for United States congressman,Tom Barrett. Her primary responsibility was working with constituents on issues such as social security and Medicaid. Regardless of her career goals, Priscilla always made time for her family. She treasured special family gatherings and birthdays. To her, each and every birthday was to be acknowledged with the traditional cake and song ending with presents to open. Even though there was some distance between the cities where she and her siblings lived, she made every effort to remain close with each of them. Of all the special occasions, Christmas was by far the most important to Priscilla. Juggling her busy schedule never deterred her from baking and shipping homemade cookies to relatives on their birthdays and during Christmas time over the years. It brought her great satisfaction to shower her family with love during each season. As much work as it was, she demanded the Christmas tree was real. One year while gathering their tree for Christmas it managed to drift off the top of the car forcing her family to get out and hoist it back on top; laughing hysterically the whole time!
Hard to believe that Priscilla found any time for herself as she lived her life passionately giving so much of herself to others. When she wasn’t crocheting a plentitude of blankets to donate to newborns in her community, she was enjoying herself by playing in dart tournaments, growing tomatoes and peppers, reading suspense novels, and watching vintage black and white films from the 1930s and 1940s. A favorite pastime of hers was fixing her favorite dishes of barbecue or what is described as the best of breakfasts each weekend or even for dinner and inviting anyone in the family or even children in the neighborhood to join her. Everyone in her close-knit community knew they were always welcome in her home where they would be doted on and treated with her special hospitality. She loved to cook so much so, that she’d even haul the grill back out on Christmas Day in order to give her family a taste of summer in the middle of a blustery winter!
Described as giving, nurturing, and truthful Priscilla gave of her time and her resources so freely, she was an inspiration to both her family and to her community. Her calm presence and humorous personality have left a lasting impact on the hearts of many and she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Priscilla Chambers, age 71 passed away December 8, 2016. She was a longtime member of the Riverwest neighborhood and beloved mother and friend of Andre, Mark, Martina, and Jason. Proud grandmother of Andre Jr. Surrogate grandmother to Jasmine and Javon. Dear sister of Naomi (Cleophus) Sanders, Isabelle (Simon) Conda, Tarvie Ann (Jerome) Roberts, Esther (Tommy) Crowford, Charles (Sharon Renee) Saunders, Sara Johnson, the late Arthurine (Elifast) Basora, and the late Arthur Jr. (Carol) Saunders. Further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Services are currently pending.