Nettie Louise Washington was born to Monroe Hamilton Fleming and Frances Leggroan Fleming July 12, 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her sister, Alice Modesia Dunbar, preceded her in death seventeen years ago. Both were direct descendants of the first free Black people to settle in Utah territory, prior to Utah becoming a state.
Nettie preferred to be called Louise, and used her middle name throughout her life. She attended South High School, where she proved to be a formidable asset to the debate team. She then married Henry James Washington in Salt Lake City. Six children were born from this union. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to San Diego, CA. Louise was a faithful and loving wife, taking care of their home and children while her husband pursued a career with the United States Marine Corps. However, their union was not meant to last, and following the dissolution of their marriage, she was left to lead and provide for her family on her own.
With a lifelong belief in the transformative power of education, she decided to become a teacher, receiving her Associate’s Degree from San Diego City College, a Bachelor of Sciences Degree from San Diego State University, and a Masters Degree from Pepperdine University in Education.
She was extremely active in the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association, while serving in multiple capacities within those organizations. At times as a member, Board Member, Treasurer, and Chairwoman, simultaneously. She also served on the Bargaining Committee, championing for improved working conditions and fair treatment for all educators. Her passion for her community, while working tirelessly to elect leaders and influence policy makers to commit an equitable amount of resources to this area, served as an inspiration to all.
Louise had tremendous love for her family, and was a lifelong loyal friend.
On Wednesday, October 3, 2018 God called Louise Washington to rest, and to receive her rewards. She leaves to cherish her memory five children: Henry James Washington, Jr., Michael Lorry Washington, Mendy Lanatte Holland, Rodney Dennis Washington, and William Hamilton Washington; son Randolph Lawrence Washington preceded her in death; in addition, she leaves ten grandchildren, a host of great- grandchildren, one living niece, one living first cousin, and a multitude of relatives, and close friends.
Her love, kindness, generosity, wisdom, encouragement, and incredible sense of humor will be greatly missed.