Natalane “Duckie” Williams – a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and nurse – was born January 19, 1944 to Archie Lawrence Gore and Dorothy Mitchell Gore in Supply, N.C. She died peacefully on April 5, 2022 surrounded by family at her son's home in West Orange, New Jersey after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Natalane attended the Brunswick County School system, graduating from Union High School in 1961. After graduation she attended the Community Hospital School of Nursing in Wilmington, N.C., which was the only accredited nursing program open to African Americans in southeastern North Carolina at the time. Upon graduation, Natalane obtained a nursing position at her alma mater where she worked for approximately 6 months. She then obtained a position at Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport, N.C. Because the United States was still rife with segregation in the 1960s, Natalane was only allowed to care for the “colored” patients.
While reading a nursing magazine, she noticed an advertisement for a nursing position in New Jersey. Dissatisfied with the segregated work environment, on a whim Natalane decided to apply for this position. The nursing administrator was so impressed with her interview, she was offered the position before returning to North Carolina. On October 15, 1965, Natalane boldly began a new opportunity at Clara Maass Hospital in Belleville, N.J. Her career at Clara Maass lasted an impressive 44 years. During this time, she rose through the ranks, first as a Staff Nurse, then on to Nurse Manager, and finally in nursing administration as a Nurse Educator where she worked the last 22 years of her career. During her time there, she met her future husband Richard, then an X-ray technician. They were married in 1967. This union was blessed with three sons – Keith, Christopher and Eric – and one baby girl who died at birth, all born at Clara Maass Hospital.
Natalane was a God-fearing Christian and devoted member of Messiah Baptist Church in East Orange, N.J., where she had been a member since 1976. As a member of Messiah, she was active in many different ministries such as the education ministry, where she had been the superintendent of Sunday School; the head nurse of the nursing ministry and a member of the greeter's ministry. In June 2018 she was ordained as a Deaconess. Outside of her time at church, Natalane enjoyed cooking, shopping, watching basketball, spending time with her family, and having her hair styled by longtime friend and hairstylist of 30-plus years, Gina. Natalane was also big proponent of education, she returned to school while raising three children and working fulltime, earning a Bachelor of Nursing Degree from St Peters University located in Jersey City New Jersey.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Richard Williams; sons Keith (Theresa) of Forest Hill, M.D., Christopher of West Orange, N.J., and Eric Williams of Maplewood, N.J.; sisters Dorothy Gore of Supply, N.C., Rosaland Gore-Lance (Michael) of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jeanetta Harrison of Laurel, M.D.; brother Rondie Gore of Winston Salem, N.C.; granddaughters Kayla, Juliana and Kendall Williams; grandsons Justin, Jason, Jeremy and Jacob Williams; brothers-in-law Willie Gray of Laurel, M.D. and Ernest Williams (Linda); sisters-in-law Brenda West (Arnold) of Linden, N.J. and Victoria Kirkland of Monmouth Junction, N.J., and a host of uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She is reunited in enteral life with parents Archie and Dorothy Gore, sisters Maggie Gore and Doris Gray, brother Milton Earl Gore and sister in- law L’Anita Gore.
The Funeral will be held at Big Macedonia Baptist Church 405 Big Macedonia Rd NW, Supply, NC 28462 on Saturday at 1:00 P.M. Burial will follow in the Galloway Cemetery.