Welcome to the memorial page for

William E. Scales

November 30, 2017
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William Edward Scales, 68, went to be with the Lord on November 30th, 2017, at Hampton Sentara Hospital. William was born on January 6th, 1949, in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was the son of the late Claibon John Wilkins and Almeda Christine Raggs Wilkins. His brothers, Louis Thomas Wilkins, Joseph T. Scales, Dallas A. Scales, and Peter Scales preceded him in death.

During his youth, his family were members of Zion Bethel United Church of Christ in Portsmouth, VA, where he accepted Christ as his personal savior and was baptized. As a young child, he suffered from a visual impairment, which left him blind. During this time his parents took him to an Ernest Angley Miracle Crusade, where he was healed and his vision completely restored. After God restored his vision, William was called into the ministry and began sharing the gospel at age eleven. He preached his trial sermon at twelve and would share the good news of the gospel in local churches on the Peninsula and Southside.

William attended Portsmouth Public Schools and graduated from I.C. Norcom High School. After graduating high school, he married Mabel C. Wright and to their union had three children, two daughters, Felicia Harrington and LaVenia Liggins and one son, John Dallas Scales, Sr.

In 1968, he joined the United States Army, where he served fifteen years of honorable service as an Airborne Ranger and taught Race Relations. While in the Army he completed many tours to include, California, Stuttgart Germany, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. He fought in the Vietnam War during the time of social and civil unrest here in America. At times he would briefly share the horrific things he experienced while in Vietnam, to include how he was missing in action for thirty days and how he was able to survive until he was rescued. As a result of his Vietnam experiences, he battled with PTSD for many years. 

After he completed his time in the military, he returned to Portsmouth, VA. In 1986 he begin working at Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority where he met Irma A. Ellis. In 1994 the two were united in holy matrimony in the presence of their children, grandchildren, family and friends. He and his wife where members of Fourth Baptist Church in Portsmouth, VA were they worshipped together with family and friends.

William enjoyed spending time with family, reading, and playing chest. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Mrs. Irma Ellis Scales. Two sons, John Dallas Scales, Sr. (Kenyat) of Hampton, VA and Henry “Larry” Cross, (Deborah) of Portsmouth, VA. Four daughters, Felicia M. Harrington (James) of Newport News, VA, LaVenia C. Liggins of Hampton, VA, Victoria A. Sivills (Curtis) of Portsmouth, VA and Tywanda Hall of Portsmouth, VA, two sisters Lydia Christine Burkett of Portsmouth, VA and Celia V. Moore (Reginald) of Portsmouth, VA, twenty-three grandchildren, fifteen great grand children, and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

In his latter years he attended United Bibleway Temple in Newport News, VA with his son and daughters, where he rededicated his life to Jesus Christ in the presence of the church family. On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, William was admitted into Hampton Sentara Hospital where he prayed in the presence of his daughters, son, grandchildren and family friend. At which time his daughter lead everyone in a song. It was a joyous occasion! On Thursday, November 30, he went home to be with the Lord.


 Service Information

December 7, 2017

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Keith Matthews Funeral Home
5665 E. Virginia Beach Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23502

Funeral Service
December 8, 2017

12:00 PM
Fourth Baptist Church
726 South St.
Portsmouth, VA 23704


Albert G. Horton Veterans Cemetery
5310 Milners Rd.
Suffolk, VA 23434

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