Mrs. Lillie Mae Igles of Tampa, Florida transitioned to be with the Lord on Saturday, December 25, 2021. The Celebration of Life Services will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2022, 2:00 p.m. at the Center for Manifestation, 3102 E. Lake Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33610, Pastor Rodney Norton, officiating. Interment will follow at Garden of Memories Cemetery, 4207 E. Lake Avenue, Tampa, FL 33610.
She was born on April 20, 1936, and a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area where she received her education through the Hillsborough County Public Schools System.
The highlight of Lillie Mae’s legacy was her strong devotion to Christ. Anyone who knew Lillie Mae, knew she was a Godfearing woman and religious worshipper. Her relationship with the Lord grew from childhood when her mother passed away. Lillie Mae was at the tender age of 12 when called upon to raise her younger siblings while her dad worked. These times made her a faithful believer and she always preached it was “His grace and mercy” that got her through. The spirit of the Lord continued affectionately when she was blessed as a mother to her three children and to the family members that she took under her wing. She was devoted to doing God’s work--you could call Lillie Mae day or night when you needed prayer.
Naturally, Lillie Mae’s calling was caregiving and she worked as a nurse. She loved bringing joy to her patients and was highly requested because of her work ethic, cooking, Gospel singing, Bible Study sessions, and her iconic laugh. Lillie Mae’s most gratifying profession was her influence as a foster mom. She dedicated more than 30 years to caring for others like her own and fostered over 300 children. She left as a legend and as “everyone’s Grandma.”
Mrs. Lillie Mae Igles was preceded in death by her parents, Willie and Pearlie Mae Thomas; daughter, Thadetta Ponds-Sylvester; children-in-love, Debra Ann Thomas, James Kelvin Ponds; all 10 siblings, Willie Thomas Jr., Cleveland Thomas, Edward Miles Thomas, Willie Mae Thomas, Charles Thomas, Bennie Thomas, Virgel Thomas, Dorothy Mae Thomas, Betty Jean Thomas, and Jerome Thomas; and, grandson, Rico Gainey.
Lille Mae’s beautiful life will forever be cherished and her legacy will continue in the lives of her children and grandchildren, two sons, Otha Gainey, Jr. (Yolanda) and Artis Ponds Sr. (Nicole); 20 grandchildren, Jalecia “Lisa” Casimir (Ricardo), Jarheal Sylvester, Emanuel Baroulette, Evionna Baroulette, Artis Ponds Jr., Shaniqua Williams, Calvin Ponds, Travis Belcher, Arlecia Ponds, Timothy Ponds, Otha Gainey III (Quarqusia), Rodney Gainey, Mikey Gainey, Alice “P-Nut” Edwards, Jamie Stull, Quentin Williams, Nicole Wright (Jamore), Kenneth Brooks, Jr., J’Dario Brooks; special family members, Herbert Williams (Trisha), Pauline Thomas (Wife of her late brother, Bennie Thomas), Thelma Davis, Eddis Thomas-McCall-Dexter, Thaddeus Ponds Jr.; and a host of loving great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, foster children, and friends.
Visitation will be held Friday, January 7, 2022, from 4:00 pm. to 7:00 p.m. at Ray Williams Funeral Home, 301 N. Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606.