West Charlotte advocate Dorothy Waddy dies

Dorothy Waddy
Dorothy Waddy dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Dorothy Waddy, a respected west Charlotte church and community leader, died Wednesday. The former Clanton Park Community Association president was 76.

Friends remembered Waddy as a relentless advocate for children along the West Boulevard corridor.

Ericka Ellis-Stewart, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board member, said she knew Waddy when Ellis-Stewart worked for Right Moves for Youth, a nonprofit that helps students graduate high school.

“I just found her to be extremely tenacious in her advocacy for the community and the children,” she said.

She said Waddy always had her community in mind and worked to get parents the resources their kids needed. She called her authentic and brutally honest.

“She was not one to bite her tongue,” she said. “She would be willing to call a spade a spade. But she did it all in love.”

Waddy was known for organizing meetings between parents and teachers. At a 2007 meeting, Elva Cooper, a former CMS administrator, noted that Waddy individually arranged meals, rides, and child care.

“Ms. Waddy is going to save West Boulevard by herself,” Cooper told the Observer.

Waddy had attended Friendship Missionary Baptist Church since she moved to Charlotte in 1968, eventually running the Sunday school.

Ed Holland, now the church administrator, who also worked with Waddy at Bank of America, said her personality was affirming.

“Dot was ubiquitous,” he said. “She was encouraging, she was positive, and she wanted you to feel good about who you were.”

Waddy always saw the good in things, he said, while still questioning anything she didn’t understand.

“Hopefully, through her legacy, some of the (leaders at the church) will step up and want to be like Dot,” he said.

In December, the Observer recognized Waddy as a resident who makes Charlotte a better place to live.

Waddy is survived by two sons, Donald and Herman, a daughter-in-law, Kim, and two great-grandsons, Joey and Julian.

Her funeral service will be at noon on June 17 at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.

Those who knew Waddy can sign an online guest book provided by the Alexander Funeral Home.

Taylor: 704-358-5353; Twitter: @LangstonITaylor