ViewingReformation Lutheran Church
Philadelphia, PA 19150
Roosevelt “Sam” Womack was born on October 1, 1938 in Chatham Virginia to the late Dillard Womack and Gladys Wimbush. He was the oldest of five children. On June 21, 2019, surrounded by family, love and his favorite songs one being “Last Mile of the Way”, our savior called him home.
Sam was a Philadelphia public school student and attended Edison High School. Following high school, he attended the Spring Garden Institute for Carpentry, became a laborer and worked in construction until his retirement. He was a member of the Laborers’ International Union Of North America for over 50 years. Sam was a dedicated worker but especially loved demo work, there are probably some holes that he never patched up somewhere in Philadelphia. He was also a volunteer ambulance driver for the 50th Ward. He prided himself on being at work on time and would often say during family gatherings “I got to go meet the man in the morning” which meant he was about to retire for the night.
Sam met the love of his life, Mary Bradshaw, in 1963 in the park as she was reading a book. They were together from that moment and were married in 1965. From their union they were blessed with two children, Lafayette and Sheila. Sam’s dedication to his family was evident in how he cared and provided for his wife and children throughout the years. His dedication to his family made it easy for them to care for him unconditionally during his lengthy illness.
Sam could often be found in his garage in his signature outfit of overalls and button up shirt -- wide open -- tinkering with odds and ends, working on his motorcycle or his van. He could also be found cutting his grass or the grass of his neighbors. He was always willing to help. If he said he was going to help you with something you could be assured that he would show up with tools ready to get the job done. He was a people person, he would talk to anyone and often had interesting stories, some where the truth was questionable. If you were lucky you got a nickname, he was good at giving nicknames. Sam always wanted people to be successful and was always excited about the accomplishments of others. He showed concern in how they were doing, especially the younger generation. He would openly tell people he was happy for them or proud of them when he heard their good news.
Sam accepted Christ and was a dedicated member of Neighborhood Baptist Church for over 50 years. He was a member of the Male Chorus, the Gospel Chorus and the President of the Trustee Board. He could often be found at the church on Mondays cleaning and maintaining the building. Sam often trained new and junior trustees in their expected duties. Many of these men still speak of his teachings and long talks. He was an active member at Neighborhood and did whatever was needed of him with pride until his illness made it difficult to complete his duties. Sam had an amazing voice and was often called on to sing. Although his nickname Sam was from his childhood, his voice was often compared to Sam Cooke.
During his sickness Sam rarely complained and as it progressed he required additional home care Brenda Robinson and Ruth “Brown Sugar” Cooley were his home care-aides. Ruth cared for him until the day he closed his eyes. They were both a blessing to him as well as his family.
Sam was preceded in death by his Step-Father Charlie Wimbush and his sister Clara Wimbush.
Sam leaves to cherish many memories: his wife and full-time caregiver Mary; his son Lafayette Womack; his daughter Sheila Mokum (Abdul); three grandchildren Lafayette Womack II “LJ”, Shelea Young and Darius Young; one God-daughter Kysha Toatley (Jay); three sisters Marjorie Womack, Earnestine Barnes and Belinda Wimbush (John); two brothers in-law James Albert Bradshaw (Eartha) and Larry Bradshaw (Linda); four sisters in-law Rebecca Shaw, Lizzie Robinson, Alean Chamblee and Jessie Mae Bradshaw and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.