top of page

Remembering Willa Mae Brown Hector

Sunrise: October 24, 1940 - Sunset: August 14, 2020

Willa Mae Brown Hector was born on October 24, 1940, in Natchez, Mississippi to parents, Willie Brown and Annie Laura Powell Brown. The family relocated to Los Angeles, CA in 1946, when Willa was 5 years of age. She and sister June were raised as “Bobsie” twins, one couldn’t move without the other. Willa was affectionately called “MaeMae” by those that knew and loved her.

She attended Wadsworth Elementary, Carver Junior High, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1958. She was awarded many scholarships upon graduation from high school. The scholarships were used to attend Los Angeles City College where she majored in Mathematics and Los Angeles Trade Tech where she majored in Dress Design.

In 1964, she put her dress design skills into action when she launched her clothing business “Mrs. Parkers Closet”. “MaeMae” was a savvy, business-driven lady. Her aspirations, hard work, expertise, and innate sense of success proved to be more valuable than a college degree.

She had high standards and extremely good taste. Her smile was infectious.

MaeMae was born into a religious household with set rules and guidelines. As an adult, she explored Scientology and Science of the Mind. She sought religion of her own choosing.

November 9, 1968, she married 1). Hector. ‘They raised horses at their 80-acre ranch, they named “Quarter Horse”. Though the marriage dissolved in 1978 and no children were born, she never stopped hoping for the chance to one day become a mother.

In January 1980, she adopted Shawn at the tender age of four, and through all the challenges that came with the blessing, her life maintained it’s light!

Willa worked at Occidental Life Insurance Company, as a Computer programmer, Information Technology System Analyst then promoted to Regional Director within a 5-year time span. While employed there she was esteemed with the awarded honor of being “The FIRST Black” Computer Programmer.

Every time she was evaluated for performance, she was given a raise and yesssssss promoted!!!

Willa worked at CyBer Tech Corporation as a System Analyst of Information Technology Department then promoted to Management as Regional Director. Her career continued at Executive Life as a Management Information Technologist, then Holden Group Insurance as a Systems Analyst.

Willa studied and passed the California State Board on her first try to become a real estate agent. In April of 1995, she began her journey at Sun America/AIG, as Director of Production Support. She managed a staff of computer programmers/analysts and retired after 17 years of service as Director of Information Technology in 2012.

Although education was very important to her, she advanced in corporate America extremely fast without a degree. In her career, she prided in her abilities to not allow a “piece of paper” to hold her down. She was able to soar in spite of! She would chuckle to herself at times, thinking about those under her leadership who needed a degree to be in position. She’d say to herself....Girlllll, I’m proud of you!

Some of her favorite past times were listening to all kinds of music, dancing (her favorite was the “Boogie Woogie”), cooking, eating at fine restaurants, and gardening. She spent much of her time tending to the Cymbidium Orchids in her backyard. She loved her candy caramel chews, stayed feisty, and did things her way!

After retirement, she learned to play the piano and continued to travel the world. She was a World Traveler. MaeMae visited every state in the United States and many foreign countries. Her passport is likened to a stamp book collection.

She served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Ladera Heights Civic Association was a member of both the Ladera Senior Association and Diamond’s in the Rough Bridge Team of Inglewood.

MaeMae stayed big on education and kept her mind challenged. She loved puzzles and game shows. Her shows were such the part of her routine, that she could tell the time of day according to what was on. She was the TV Queen, her mind stayed sharp. She would answer Jeopardy and Family Feud questions quicker than the contestants.

She stayed abreast of politics, current events and had a memory like a computer! She would guide in preparing food dishes, from a seated position, with the TV remote in hand.

MaeMae was spry, one of the best storytellers, comical, inspirational, and wise. After you encountered her you would always leave with a life nugget.

Although MaeMae will be greatly missed by those that cared for and loved her, we KNOW she is in a better place. She accepted CHRIST as her LORD and SAVIOR, Thursday at 11:24 am. The angels were rejoicing and so were the witnesses to the event.

MaeMae had been sick for a long time and was tired of fighting to live. She passed away 26 hours later, from labor to reward Friday, August 14th at her home. God granted her wishes!

She leaves to mourn her passing, son Shawn Hector, extended family, and many friends. Her parents and sister preceded her in death.

SideBar: After all the notes were jotted down she said “Wow that was a lot”, then said “But it all needs to be recorded, make sure you got it all” and “If anyone says, Whew that was a long obituary” you tell them “That’s what happens when you read the life of an Accomplished Person” then belted out the biggest laugh.



bottom of page