Ethel Mae Billups
October 27, 1948 July 17, 2023
Saturday, July 29, 2021—10:00AM
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
231 West 142nd Street, New York, New York 10030
Reverend Dr. Charles Butler—Presiding
George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery
Paramus, New Jersey
Ethel Mae Billups was born on October 27, 1948, in Pickens County, Alabama. She was the eldest of three children born to the late Willie Grice Sr. and Lucille Bonner-Grice. Ethel was adored and highly respected by her younger brothers, Willie Jr. and Hezekiah.
Ethel came to New York City in 1967, and shortly after she began a career at Blue Cross Blue Shield, where she was a hard worker for over thirty years. After leaving Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ethel started a second career as a Social Worker at Safe Horizon until she retired in 2014. Ethel ‘s co-workers often referred to her as the caring mother of the group but would always keep you on track.
Ethel was a strong believer in education. After raising her three daughters, Lisa, Michelle, and Rhonda, Ethel went back to school and obtained her Bachelor of Science from Mercy College and Master of Science in Social Work from Adelphi University. She motivated her girls and young people to continue their education.
Ethel valued friendships. Her mother always said,” Ethel made friends wherever she went. “She was friendly, caring, and a comforting ear for many. Those who knew her loved her.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13, was one of Ethel’s favorite scriptures. She was a firm believer in the Lord and a strong prayer warrior. Ethel was a faithful dedicated member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church and all auxiliaries for many years. She was a Deaconess, a member of the PTA, the Missionary, the Floral Club, the Alabama Club, the Prayer Band, the Church Choir, the dance ministry, and the Saturday morning fitness group. Ethel was also a Sunday School teacher for the youth as well as the adults. Ethel was honored and very proud to become elected as the Sunday School Superintendent. Ethel's legacy at Mt. Calvary will be cherished.
Family was everything to Ethel. She enjoyed family gatherings and good times with friends. Her infectious laugh and quick wit made you feel welcomed. Everyone knew Ethel was also a dedicated daughter, very proud mother, grandmother, and big sister of her brothers, the late Deacon Willie Grice, who preceded her in death, and Rev. Hezekiah Grice.
Ethel is survived by her loving mother Lucille; three daughters, Lisa (Glenn) Michelle, and Rhonda; three granddaughters; Whitney, Glenasia, and Jordan; one brother Hezekiah (Jacqueline), sister in law; Yvonne; her four Godchildren; Christopher, Kentay, Eric, and Shylah; and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, and church family who adored her.
Ethel will be greatly missed by all who loved her.