Josephine Tinker, a woman who devoted her life to counseling and support for developmentally disabled adults and to special education of elementary and high school children, died on April 25. She was 73.
She retired from Berkeley High School in 1999. After retiring, she continued to mentor young people, especially girls and young women, as well as to support elderly people in Oakland.
The youngest of three children, she was the only girl child born to her mother Willie B. Alexander and her father Willie Alexander on Dec. 29, 1941. She was born and raised in Galveston, Texas and was baptized on April 5, 1953 at Jerusalem Baptist Church.
She attended Booker T. Washington Elementary School and Central High School, the first Black high school in Texas, which was integrated in 1968.
She graduated form Howard University in Washington, DC in the early 1960s.
Tinker had some of the happiest times of her life during the last 17 years she spent with her devoted spouse Carlette Keeles, her “Queen, as she called her.
Keeles was her friend, lover, confidante and caregiver.
Tinker was preceded in death by her mother and father and her two brothers Melvin Joel Thompson and Clayton Alexander. She is survived by Keeles and by her cousins Evelyn Alexander Clark of Galveston, Texas; Debra Penn and family of Moreno, Valley, Calif.; Debra Collins and family from Rolling Hills, Calif.; Diane Abram and family of North Carolina; Edward Harris and family of Vallejo, Calif.; her two nieces Denise Thompson and her family and Rose Bruckner, both of Houston, Texas; and two close childhood friends, Wesley Bell of El Sobrante, Calif. and Sylvester Lee, Jr. of Suitland, Maryland.
Tinker’s Home Going Services will be held on Saturday, May 16 at the City of Refuge Church, 8400 Enterprise Way in Oakland from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The repast will be at the church right after the service. In honor of Tinker, the family is asking that people wear a fedora hat to the service.
Donations can be made to the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Josephine Tinker’s name at 5741 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609, (510) 601-4040.