Elbert Waters III’s Passing

Farewell to a Friend

By William Warren, JA Chicago Bureau Chief


To all of my readers, I thank you for checking out my articles from time to time. This article is about family, my brother-in-law and friend, Elbert Malachi Waters III, who passed away last week at the young age of 65.

It is rare to meet a person so full of life who could bust with excitement, but that’s how Bert, as I called him, was. He could take a rainy day and turn it into a sunshine adventure. He could make you feel like a long time friend and never a stranger.

He was someone who you might be blessed to meet once in your lifetime. He shared his enthusiasm for life with everyone and was admired and respected by all who knew him.

My friend was a man of many talents and interests. He worked in law enforcement in Chicago and for the U. S. Postal Service. He left Chicago for Memphis to open a business.

His life journey led him to work with children where he began his career as an elementary teacher for the Memphis Public Schools. He was a highly recognized teacher and an outstanding mentor to young men who he loved nurturing.

Bert was passionate about being a musician. He played both the trumpet and guitar and played with a group on Beale Street. His favorite hobbies included sailing, reading, and playing chess. We shared many evenings in Chicago on his sailboat named H20 in Lake Michigan. My visits to Memphis were never dull with Bert.

He was a great family man. Bert and Marlene, his wife of 37 years, raised a daughter, Marlena and a son, Major Elbert M. Waters IV. He adored his nine grandchildren one great grandchild. Bert even made his nieces and nephews feel extra special.

I want to say to his family that I love you and will always be there for you. My condolence to his mother who has to bury her child, to his beautiful wife Marlene for the loss of her husband, to his children for the loss of their father, to his sisters who lost a brother and to all his family members and friends who are saddened by Elbert’s untimely passing.

Lastly I just want to say, the more we encounter each other, the more likely we are to encounter God. Farewell my brother-in-law and friend. Thanks for the great memories Elbert Malachi Waters III. Peace and Blessings.