Mr. Willie L. Preston was born on July 17, 1933 in Benoit, Ms. to the late Lucille and Willie James Preston Sr. He was the first born of eleven children. Others who proceeded him in death were two brothers: James Preston and Louis W. Preston, and two sisters: Rev. Dr. Ophelia Manney and Marie P. Lampkins.
He relocated to California at a young age with his parents and was baptized at Macedonia Baptist Church in Richmond, Ca. Willie was educated in the Richmond Public Schools, graduating from Richmond High School in 1952. He was very popular and excelled at basketball. He was hired as a Helper Ship fitter at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on November 14, 1952. He was drafted into the US Army in 1953 where he worked as a Military Policeman. After serving two years, he returned to Mare Island in 1955. HIs ambition and drive propelled him to quickly rise through the ranks to Shipyard Superintendent of Shop 11. He retired on July 29, 1988 after an honorable 35 years of service. Upon retirement, he started his own business—Preston’s Security Services, and he was the first African American businessman to ascertain a large security contract with Edwards Airfare Base.
Willie met and married Gloria Jean Baddie (who proceeded him in death) on September 11, 1955 and to this union, they had three children: Deborah L. Preston, LaWanna D. Preston and Willie E. Preston. They were married until 1980. Willie loved his family and his favorite past times were playing basketball (especially with his brothers), playing cards and following his two favorite teams, the San Francisco giants and the Golden State Warriors. He also loved to read and was an avid learner. His favorite topics were history and politics as he loved to learn about the world around him.
Willie married Dorette Fisher on October 12, 2002. They were dedicated to the Kiwanis Club in American Canyon, California where they resided and traveled extensively in support of many worthy causes.
Willie departed this life on Thursday, April 30, 2020 and leaves to mourn his passing many relatives and friends who will forever remember him fondly.
Precious memories of a life well lived will be cherished by his wife, Dorette C. Preston of Napa, California; his children: Deborah L. Preston of Hercules, California, LaWanna D. Preston of Pinole, California and Willie E. Preston (Darlene) of Sacramento, California; four brothers; John P. Preston (Sherree) of Surprise, Arizona, Larry Preston of Vallejo, California, Donald R. Preston and Ronald J. Preston of Richmond, California; one sister, Linda S.E. Adams of Richmond, California; six grandchildren; Willie B. Preston, Desmond M. Preston, Elijah M. Preston, Gary E. Lewis, Jacob T. Moore and one granddaughter, Gloria E. Oliver; three great grandchildren; Preston Lewis, Peyton Lewis and Pierce Lewis. He also leaves to cherish his memories, a dear sister-in-law, Jamie Preston of Pittsburg, California and many loving nieces, nephews and friends.
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