Wilford Peter Shillingford aka Daddy/Willie/WillieP /Father Teresa/Papa Noel, was born in Morne Rachette, Dominica (British West Indies), to Mona Lestrade and Howell Shillingford on October 22, 1947. After graduating from Saint Mary’s Academy, in Dominica, he became a school teacher, but to make a better life for his family he decided to migrate to Canada in 1968 and then eventually moved to the United States in 1969 and joined the Army.
Willie was in the Army on active duty from 1970 to 1972. Willie continued his love of service by joining the prestigious NYPD in 1973. He was able to retire after 20 years on the police force as a Sergeant. He enlisted in the Army Reserves for another 15 years in 1976 and was re-called to active duty where he served in Operation Desert Storm and was honorably discharged on May 5th, 1992.
Willie stressed the importance of education, and attended John Jay College, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1978. Willie also stressed the importance of being on time…it didn’t matter where we were going we needed to be there 30 minutes early even to a party we knew people would be late to.
Willie loved to laugh, play cards, go fishing, prepare tax returns, watch sports and his favorite pastime of dominoes. He was a very generous man and helped numerous family members and friends, any way he could, even if it meant giving the shirt off his back, and this is where he got his nickname as Father Teresa or Papa Noel.
He is survived by his wife Agnes, of over 49 years of marriage, his three children; Sandra, Wilford (Peter) Jr, and Kim, and five grandchildren; Justin, Tavien, Zinda, Kaitlyn, and Jaxon. He is also survived by his mother Mona Lestrade, his four brothers; Randy, Ronnie, Albert and Winston, and two sisters; Cyrilla and Rhona. He will be fondly remembered and missed by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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