Lula Mae, The mother of Stevie Wonder
11 January 1932 - 31 May 2006
Dedicated to the Loving Memory of Mama Lula
Lula Mae Hardaway was born in 1932 on a
sharecroppers farm in Alabama. It was not an easy life, for she endured many
hardships before being blessed with the rewards of her determined hard work and
Born to Mary Ellie Pitts while still in
her teens with no father figure, Lula was passed from relative to relative,
unwanted and for the most part unloved.
As a teenager she was sent to Chicago and eventually entered a marriage where she
was abused. Determined to make a better life for her children, she started
hiding away money, and one day successfully made her escape to Detroit.
In addition to all her hardships, she
gave birth to a blind child, Stevland Judkins. This presented additional
challenges for Lula who tried many avenues, medical and spiritual to find a
cure, but to no avail.
However Stevland proved to be a special
blessing. He impressed all around him with his intelligence, charm,
resourcefulness and musical talent.
Eventually Lula would agree to eleven
year old Stevland signing to Motown Records after her many concerns about the
contract, Stevland's education and the negative influences for a child touring
Stevland Judkins was to become Stevie
Wonder and Mama Lula was to eventually rub shoulders with Presidents and
But the gifts she, and her family,
enjoyed in her latter years was a result of her strength and her belief in
herself and her children. It was her drive and her willingness to sacrifice the
now for the future that took her family through the miraculous journey of
hardship to triumph.
Stevie Wonder sings near the coffin
of his mother Lula Mae Hardaway during funeral services on June 8 at West
Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles.