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Lula Mae, The mother of Stevie Wonder

11 January 1932 - 31 May 2006

Stevie Wonder and Mother Lula

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 perseverance.

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.

Stevie Wonder and Mother Lula 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 the country.

Stevland Judkins was to become Stevie Wonder and Mama Lula was to eventually rub shoulders with Presidents and celebrities.

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 and Mother Lula
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.

Stevie Wonder and Mother Lula
June 2006