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Amazing Woman of the Suncoast: Glenda Williams

Glenda Williams grew up in Newtown in a family of 9 children. She attended Booker and played trombone in the band.

"My foundest memories are things I did in the band."

Ah, those state band competitions.

"There were 12 maybe, 15 black schools from around the state who would compete and I still know people today I met in high school playing in the band."

But in her senior year, everything changed.

She missed her friends and the activities she'd enjoyed desperately, but she graduated from Riverview and attended Manatee Junior College. Then she applied at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

" I applied to the school of radiology technologists and I was accepted. I was the first African- American accepted into that program there."

Her career was launched.

"I worked for one orthopedic surgeon here in town for 22 years and then I worked for a group of physicians for 18 years."

She met her husband on a blind date. They've been married more than 43 years and have one son and 2 grandchildren. She has a strong support system.

"I was about 26 when I joined an organization called Business and Professional Women and I am still a member. As a matter of fact, I'm president."

She sang with a group that accompanied some big time stars.

"We sang with Paty Austin, we sang with Paul Anka, Shirley Jones, Lou Rawls, Denise Williams, Oleta Adams. "

She's helped organize the MLK breakfast that awards scholarships to deserving students. Her christian faith is the guiding force in her life and her life lesson.

"If we all continue to try that's what it's all about and it's all about love. There is either love or fear and we can't live in fear, that's not living that's just existing."