Irma B. Skiles of Opa-locka, 96
Irma B. Skiles, a former journalist for the Miami Times newspaper, died July 8. She was 96.
Her funeral was Saturday at Greater New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens, where the Rev. Dr. G. David Horton, pastor, presided. With the Range Funeral Home directing, she was interred at Dade Memorial Park-North in Miami.
Born April 6, 1917 on Avenue G, presently known as Northwest Second Avenue, Skiles was the oldest of three children of the late Rose Leah Walker Williams and Earnest Ingram of Opa-locka. She attended Hannah Taylor Private School, Paul L. Dunbar Elementary, Booker T. Washington Junior High and D.A. Dorsey High School. As the result of winning an essay contest in June 1939, she was the recipient of a scholarship from the Collegians of Miami for being the first honor student of that school.
Skiles was the first person to be converted in the Greater New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of of founding pastor the late Rev. R.B. Blanks in 1932. She served in numerous areas of the church including superindendent of the Sunday School, president of the first Usher Board and secretary of the church.
Skiles’ sister and brother preceded her in death. “Mother Irma Skiles,” the pioneer citizen was called, in a resolution by the city of Opa-locka in celebrating “the home going of our city’s Historian.”
The city’s resolution added that she “will always be remembered in our hearts as a woman of courage, a woman of integrity, and a woman pleasing in the sight of God.”
Tribute paid to Sarah E. Moten
The board of directors and members of The Foundation for Democracy in Africa (FDA) announced the passing of Dr. Sarah E. Moten, board member and 2008 recipient of FDA’s highest honor, “The Medal of Glory Award.”
Moten passed peacefully on July 9. Her career in development spanned more than four decades during which she served as chief, Africa Bureau, Office of Sustainable Development, Education Division, United States Agency for International Development (USAID); director, Peace Corp in Africa; deputy assistant secretary for Refugee and Humanitarian Affairs; and Coordinator, Education Democracy Development Initiative (EDDI) for Africa – an inter-agency initiative under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Most recently she served on the George W. Bush Institute, Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council.
Moten will be forever remembered for her personal commitment to Africa’s development needs, FDA said, and her unique sensitivity to the educational needs of women and girls.