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Name:  " David E. Wattley "
D.O.B:  03/23/1927
D.O.D  01/29/2021
Country From:  USA
State / Parish:  
Place of Death  New York
Service Date
02/12/2021 @ 10:00am


Viewing 10-11am

Service 11am.

David Williams Funeral Home
108-20 Sutphin Ave, Jamaica.

Special Info  David Wattley Obituary David (“Dave”) Wattley was born in Queens, NY on March 23, 1927, the youngest son of James and Mabel Renee Wattley's six children. Dave grew up in South Jamaica with his parents, two sisters and three brothers when the neighborhood was still ethnically diverse, with Italian, Jewish, and Polish families residing there. He attended New York City public schools P. S. 48 and P.S. 40, and Woodrow Wilson Vocational High School, which was renamed August Martin High School. Shortly after the end of WWII, Dave was drafted into the Navy where he spent a year working as a stevedore, loading and unloading ships. He married his first wife, Lillian Wade, in 1949, and they had a son, Albert. They were married for 13 years before her passing in 1962. After his military service, he found employment at the Veterans Hospital in the Bronx, NY, where he spent 15 years performing various duties, including taking patients' temperatures as a nurse's aide, escorting patients to their destinations as an orderly, and working in the laboratory. It was during his time at the VA Hospital that Dave met his second wife, Mildred. They married in 1965 and had two daughters, Laya and Ama. In order to make more money, Dave left the VA Hospital to become a bus operator for MABSTOA, New York's Transit Authority where he had routes in Manhattan and the Bronx. He was employed there for 20 years, and retired in 1988. From an early age, Dave was drawn to music, specifically, the piano, an instrument he was able to access in his parents' parlor. Receiving only sporadic training at various points in his life, such as two years of instruction at the School of American Music on West 42nd Street, David was primarily self-taught, learning to read music by purchasing the sheet music to familiar songs heard on the radio and identifying musical notes in this manner. He and several of his musically-inclined neighbors in South Jamaica would gather in his parents' parlor to jam, and he was a member of several bands in his adult years, including several rhythm and blues groups such as “The Sound Pipers” and “The Black Forest,” as well as a big band group, “Something Special.” These bands performed all over the metropolitan area, and sometimes even in upstate, NY. Dave also served as the organist and choir director in several churches, including the Church of the Resurrection in East New York, the Community Baptist Church in Jamaica, NY, and Shaw A.M. E. Zion Church in Corona, NY, where he spent some 15 years as Minister of Music. After retirement, Dave continued using his gift as a musician to give piano lessons to children, adults, and seniors at his home, at his students’ home, at the Theatre of Dance Movement, and at various senior centers around southeast Queens. He also provided music for patients at the St. Albans VA hospital, as well as at other social and cultural events. Left to mourn David’s passing is his wife of 55 years, Mildred, his son Albert, his daughters Laya and Ama, his grandson Ishmael, great grandson Ishmael, Jr., and a host of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Lovingly Submitted, The Wattley Family


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