Classie Rose Williams née Chappel


Arrangements by Preferred Cremation & Burial. Funeral Services were held on February 21, 2023, at Preferred’s Chapel

Classie Rose Williams née Chappel was born on October 11, 1926, in Annona, Texas, to Josephine Ross and Thomas Chappel.

Classie Rose migrated to San Diego, California in the late 1950s with her mother, Josephine; her sisters, Corene, Claudie Mae and Catherine; and her four children, Adell, James, John and Herman. Her family’s migration is consistent with African-American migration patterns out of Texas (and other parts of the United States South) to various parts of the country, including California, for better social and economic opportunities. During a very difficult time in African-American history, Classie courageously pursued a better life for herself and her children.

She met her loving husband, Chris Williams, in San Diego and married him in 1970. Together, they fearlessly challenged racially restrictive covenants that impeded Black homeownership in San Diego and purchased a home in Sherman Heights in 1972. This home would quickly become a family and community pillar. It was in this domestic space that Classie Rose tended with deep care and precision to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, pets, and beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Classie’s home was a space where one could come enjoy a hot bowl of turnip and mustard greens, an earful of wisdom, a deep belly laugh, a sweet place to rest for a while, or even a vintage outfit. Classie’s house was a physical and spiritual manifestation of all that she was and endeavored to be: strong, beautiful, eclectic and righteous. She was a devout Jehovah’s Witness attending the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, San Diego.

Classie Rose, as her family and community would lovingly come to refer to her, was called home at the fortified age of 96 on February 14, 2023.

Notwithstanding all of her triumphs, Classie was no stranger to navigating and surviving grief and loss. She was preceded in death by her parents, Josephine and Thomas; her siblings, Willie, Corene, Nella, Tullie, Shepard, HP, Mary, Rufus, Claudia, James, Robert, Catherine, and Clarence; her children, Adell J. Walker-Scott, James M. Rose, and Herman C. Henderson; and grandchildren, Tonya Yavette Judge, Letisha Ruth West-Scott, and Timothy Lanore.

She is deeply mourned by those she left behind: her son, John H. Henderson; grandchildren, Lelisha A. West, Angelique Rose, Issac Johnson, Stefania Rose-Evans, James Rose Jr., Tiffany Lanore, Antoinette P. Henderson, Johntae R. Henderson, Camesha L. Henderson, Michelle Williams, Deetta Williams, and Stephanie Mathis; great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.