Published in The Washington Post from May 1 to May 3, 2020.
1960 - 2020
WILBERT Goddess Kim Wilbert May 1960 - April 2020 Goddess
Kim Wilbert ended her earthly journey on Thursday, April 23,
2020. She peacefully transitioned in her Washington, DC home
surrounded by family.
She will be remembered as a lovely, kind, caring, fun loving spirit.
She will be greatly missed by her family, former co-workers and wide circle of friends,
including her Wilson Senior High School Alumni (1978) and Fisk University Alumni groups.
Goddess Kim was an only child born on May 12, 1960 to Walter K. Wilbert and Dr, Betty W.
Nyangoni in the Bronx, New York. She grew up in Washington, DC. She attended elementary
schools at Bancroft and Raymond; junior high schools at Deal and Jefferson; high school at
Wilson. She also attended Slaybaugh/Absegami School in Southern, New Jersey. She was a
proud graduate of Fisk University, where she earned a bachelor's degree and South eastern
University, where she earned a master's degree. Further studies were pursued at Howard
University. In high school she was active in Junior Achievement. In high school she was a
majorette and gymnast. In college she was a cheerleader. She was passionate about
cheerleading and passed those associated skills onto her daughter, who became a
cheerleader at her high school, Archbishop Carroll Catholic High School and her college,
Florida Memorial University.
During her lifetime, she was an avid reader, enjoyed crafts and girl scouting. She held
membership in Phi Delta Kappa, AARP and Parent Teacher Organizations at Immaculate
Conception Catholic School and Archbishop Carroll Catholic School.
She also served as the longtime secretary and web page manager for the Curlee-Dula Family
Foundation, a private family association. In recent years she became interested in genealogy,
tracing her ancestry back to the Revolutionary War. She explored the Corpening and Dula
families from whom she is descended. The storied Dula clan in Western North Carolina has
been the subject of numerous articles, books and a recent, highly acclaimed documentary, that
was aired on PBS. Before her health declined, she worked at the Department of Employment
Services, in the DC Government. She also worked in the DC Public Schools, as one of the
first attendance counselors, Sanz School, the Philips Collection and many years with the local
Girl Scouts. She provided valuable support services to her mother's education consultant
work. In the community, she volunteered and participated in several local political campaigns.
Voting in all elections was a priority for her. She was proud to recount her cherished memories
of marching with Martin Luther King Jr; attending a rally for Cesar Chavez, participating in a
demonstration to free Angela Davis in California and attending a religious service by Bishop
Desmond Tutu, all before she was 12 years old. These gave her a front row on historical
moments, which she never forgot.
Goddess Kim leaves behind to mourn her passing a loving daughter, Taylor L. Wilbert; a
devoted mother, Dr. Betty W. Nyangoni and a special friend, Thomas Tillman, all of
Washington, DC; an aunt, Frances Crosby of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; cousins Crystal
Coplin (Kevin) of Woodbridge, Virginia, Adolphus Coplin (Valerie) of Winston-Salem, North
Carolina, Cynthia Garrett and Joseph Garrett Jr. of Norfolk, Virginia, Grady Crosby 11
(Monique) of Milwaukee. Wisconsin, Shirley Roper of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Cheryl Reid of
Brooklyn, New York and a great aunt, Ida Dula Banner, Lenoir, North Carolina. Other special
family and friends include Dr. Wellington Nyangoni, stepfather, of Waltham, Massachusetts,
Rovena Jeter of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Jerry Johnson of Washington, DC, Bobbie
Corpening Dula Wakefield of Burke County, North Carolina, Renee Dula Shade of Lenoir,
North Carolina and a legion of family and friends, including face book friends. Treasured
Grandparents, George W. Curlee and Flossie Dula Lambert Curlee pf Winston-Salem, North
Carolina and uncle, Randolph Curlee of Pueblo, Colorado preceded her in death.
Joseph Gawler's & Sons Funeral Home is handling arrangements. 202-966-6400/ 5130
Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016.
The family requests no flowers.
Contributions in her name may be made to Fisk University, 1000 17th Avenue NW/ Nashville,
Tennessee 37208 or Archbishop Carroll Catholic High School, 4300 Harewood Road, NE,
Washington, DC 20017.