We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Stradford Funeral Home
The Life & Legacy of Willie M. Vass, Jr. “Cid” Willie M. Vass, Jr. was born on August 23, 1947, to Willie M. Vass, Sr. and Maybelle Elizabeth Powell in Brooklyn, NY. He was the middle child, between older sister Josephine and younger sister Antoinette. He was educated in New York City Public Schools. Willie M. Vass enlisted in the United States Army in 1965, where he served this country until his honorable discharge in 1966. After returning home he worked several jobs: Cleaning Air Ducts with Scientific Company, Golden Gate Sanitation and later working with Lapide Lawrence J. Inc, as a truck driver until he was promoted to foreman. Eventually, Willie purchased his own truck and worked as an independent trucker, until his retirement in 2014. In 1970, he met Atherline Rose Smith where he found his own family and helped to raise Donna “Mickey”, Richard Baruti “Murph” and Josephine “Baby Jo”. In 1978, Atherline gave birth to their son Sidney Scott Vass. Willie didn’t just raise his own children, he raised and molded several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He had a tremendous loving impact on every young person that came into his life. Willie’s interests included dining out, sports betting, watching old Westerns, Motown’s Greatest Hits, photography, watching golf, Social Studies, U.S. History and Geography. If you got in the car with him, two things were required- you better be hungry and know which bridge goes where in New York. Willie also enjoyed playing softball - from the 1970’s until the 1990’s he played for Brooklyn U.S.A. Softball team. Never hesitant to make a bet, his favorite quotes were “Who you like?” or “What you got?” with his head cocked to the side like he knew something you didn’t. Willie’s friends and family will always remember him as the guy that will make you laugh or even make you cry, (when you weren’t doing what he thought was right) put a couple of dollars in your pocket, (if you need it) and cuss you out if you get out of line. Willie was a man’s man that told it like it was. He made sure his children knew family should be valued and was important. Summers were spent traveling to South Boston, Virginia to visit the Vass, Jennings, and Patrick families. Sundays spent in Williamsburg with the Davis’ was a weekly event and going on outings with Mitch and Carol was always something to look forward to. Extended family was also important to him. The Moran Family Brenda, Star, Louis, & Gerad and The James Family- Antonia, Danielle ‘Shorty’ Martinez, and Javed learned his core values from his daily examples of mentorship, leadership and guidance. Willie finished his life’s journey at the age of 74 years old on February 27, 2022, at 12:15 p.m., in Manhattan, NY. He was preceded in death by his mother Mayebelle Powell, Father Willie M. Vass, Sr., Sisters, Josephine O’Neal and Antionette Vass-Williams; and the love of his life Atherline R. Smith, with whom he had a collaborative and caring relationship based on mutual support and a deep love for each other. Willie is survived by his children, Sidney (Charlette) Vass, Baltimore, MD; Donna (Tyrone) Jones Wilmington, DE; Baruti (Denise) Tucker, Augusta, GA; Josephine (Aja) Tucker, Staten Island, NY and Louis Moran, Brooklyn, NY. Grandchildren, Sydney, Sahana, Gerrell, Germaine, Donyea, Imani, Tahirah, Song, Sol, A'jani, Jo’ali, Louis Jr, and Shartell. Nieces Larwanda Williams and Larneice Scott. “Son” Rich Murray, his Brooklyn USA Crew, his Dean Street crew, and his bike shop crew as well as a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and family.