Just days before his death, Wendell Palfrey Weaver wrote a “Farewell” to his neighbors, on July 6. In his message he shared his lifetime commitment to being a “good neighbor,” along with his hopes and prayers for current and future residents of his community. That’s the kind of person he was — loving, compassionate, and caring. Weaver succumbed to his many health issues on June 30, 2018 at Christ Advocate Hospital.
Friends, family, teachers and fellow musicians remember Wendell Palfrey Weaver as a man who loved God, and who loved music. His talents were many, but he was most certainly an extraordinary musician who inspired his students to achieve their dreams.
During his lifetime Wendell had four notable pinnacles, in music, poetry, giving, and his testimony.
His legacy in music is broad. As a young musician he performed excerpts from the “Sound of Music” at Mason Upper Grade Center. Two of his students at Sullivan High School received awards from the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He was recognized as a superior music teacher at South Shore High School for eight consecutive years. He actively worked to save the Music, Art and Physical Education programs in the Chicago Public Schools.
As a poet, Wendell appreciated receiving the Poet of the Month award at the Brainerd Public Library’s National Poetry Month celebration.
In giving, Wendell’s cherished moments were the scholarship concerts he presented at Faith United Methodist Church.
A fourth treasured memory was when he gave two testimonial vocal concerts in Chicago, and Macon, Georgia.
Wendell Palfrey Weaver was born May 23, 1931 in Memphis, Tennessee. Wendell’s mother Rosetta brought him and his brothers Franklin and Marcellus to Chicago in 1943, during the “The Great Migration,” to improve their lives.
For over 50 years Wendell was an active member of St. James United Methodist Church, until its closing. The next six years he became an active member of Faith United Methodist Church. At both churches Wendell ministered to the congregation with inserts as the Lord directed his writing. He received a Laity award from both churches for his service.
A graduate of Wendell Phillips High School, Weaver was inspired to master music, and received his Music Education degree from Roosevelt University. He taught in the Chicago Public Schools for 35 years until his retirement.
Wendell married the love of his life, Frances Glover, on August 17, 1963. They were married for 54 years. The couple was blessed to adopt two children, Wendell R., and Alonda. They were also blessed with two grandchildren, Aamir and Amar’e. His grandchildren brought much joy to his life.
Wendell wrote 10 books to the glory and honor of the Lord. Two of his poems were published by the International Library of Poetry. He was honored to be Poet Laureate of the Chicago Music Association Branch #1 of the National Association of Negro Musicians.
Mr. Weaver is survived by his wife Frances; his son, Wendell R.; his daughter, Alonda; and grandsons, Aamir and Amar’e;
Services for Wendell Palfrey Weaver were held July 9, 2018 at Faith United Methodist Church in Chicago.