Lennis Washington was born on April 4, 1924 in Camilla, Georgia. At the age of two Lennis and her family left Georgia for a better life in the north as part of the Great Migration. After a brief stop in Baltimore for a few years, the family finally settled in Harlem, New York. She attended New York City public schools and graduated from Julia Richmond High school in 1942.
While growing up Lennis nurtured her spiritual life at Kelly Temple Church of God In Christ where she was an active member and traveled the country in the youth choir Four and One Believers. In 1949 she met and married Rev. Denzel H. Washington Sr. later moving to Mount Vernon, New York, where they raised three children Lorice, Denzel, Jr. and David. They also briefly and lovingly raised two foster children Douglas and Vanessa (Cookie) Smith.
Lennis was also a successful businesswoman. Working as a beautician, she opened several successful salons in Mount Vernon enabling her to send her children to private schools and college. After more than 50 years in Mount Vernon, Lennis retired and moved to Rockville Maryland to be with family and help raise her grandchildren. She joined Jerusalem-Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Rockville as a continuation of her spiritual life. In her free time she enjoyed traveling the world, especially to Atlantic City!
Lennis is survived by her sister Mary McElroy; her three children Lorice Washington, Denzel Washington, Jr. and David Washington; daughters-in-law Pauletta Washington and Wendy Washington; grandchildren Melanie Washington, John David Washington, Katia Washington, Olivia Washington, Malcolm Washington, Paige Washington and Julian Washington; great-grandchildren Malik Alston and Myleigh Alston along with several nieces and nephews.
Lennis will be missed and always be loved by her family and friends.
In lieu of flowers donations in honor of Lennis Washington can be made to https://giving.cedars-sinai.edu/lennis-washington