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Willie Mae Miles, Wife of a former Dean of Students, Succumbs

August 27, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla
. – Willie Mae Danford Miles, wife of a former Florida A&M University (FAMU) dean of students Rev. Moses General Miles, passed away on August 23, at the Miracle Hill Nursing Home in Tallahassee.  Her funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, August 28, at 11 a.m. at the Philadelphia Primitive Baptist Church located at 840 Dunn Street, Tallahassee.
   
Miles taught at the Lucy Moten Elementary School, which is now known as the FAMU Developmental Research School.
   
Gladys Lang, a former coworker of Miles, expressed that Miles loved her students.

“Mrs. Miles was an outstanding educator whose love and concern for all children was unparalleled,” said Lang.  “As a master teacher, she worked incessantly to bring out the best in all of her students.”

Miles was a strong supporter of her husband, who was a founding member of the FAMU Foundation, Inc. and later became its president in 1985.
   
In 1956, Rev. Miles, a prominent pastor, was responsible for posting bail for Wilhelmina Jakes Street and Carrie Patterson to be released from jail after their refusal to move to the back of a Tallahassee city bus, which initiated the Tallahassee Bus Boycott.
   
Miles served along side her husband as first lady of Philadelphia Primitive Baptist Church beginning in 1948 when her husband became pastor. She was the proud founder of the Matron’s Auxiliary at Philadelphia Primitive Baptist Church.
   
She was one of the first initiates of the Gamma Eta Sigma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which later became the Tallahassee Alumnae Chapter. She served as chapter president from 1965-1967 and was a devoted adviser to the Beta Alpha chapter at FAMU for many years.  One of Miles’ advisee remembers her very well.

“Soror Miles was the epitome of finer womanhood,” said Lisa Lang.  “She was an adviser who provided extraordinary leadership, guidance and counseling.  Her availability and service to the chapter was limitless.”
   
Miles received her bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College and her master’s degree from Ohio State University. Miles was a life member of the FAMU National Alumni Association and member of the Leon County Alumni chapter.
   
Miles was the mother of Keith Alexander Miles, the general manager of FAMU’s WANM-FM 90.5, and Andrea Cheryl, who preceded her in death.

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