Hundreds of friends, family, former high school classmates, and co-workers paid their respects to Trina Louise Wilkerson during memorial observances at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Malden.
Trina passed away unexpectedly on March 6. She was 45 years old.
Reggie Wilkerson, her older brother and one of Chelsea High’s greatest quarterbacks, said he appreciated the many people who came out to pay tribute to his sister’s beautiful life.
Trina was a lifelong supporter of Reggie’s and the caretaker of the well-known Wilkerson family.
“Trina was a great little sister, the best,” said Reggie. “She was always there for me. She took care of our family, and that was so important. She took so much care of everybody in our family.”
Reggie and Trina participated in Chelsea Pop Warner together, he as a football player, she as a cheerleader.
Trina was an amazing party organizer and loved being around people. She uplifted others with her smile and kind words.
When Irena Wilkerson, Reggie and Trina’s beloved mother, passed away, Trina decided to organize a party to honor her and donate the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Reggie helped out, to be sure, but Trina was the planner who took care of the details to insure the success of the event, making sure that everyone had a good time.
Reggie said he will carry on with the fifth annual fundraiser – in memory of Irena Wilkerson and Trina Wilkerson – and host the benefit this Saturday, March 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Merritt Club.
Paying their respects
One of the many friends who turned out for the tribute to Trina Wilkerson was Phunk Phenomenon Dance Studio owner Reia Briggs Connor.
“Reia was one of my sister’s best friends,” said Reggie. “Reia, my sister, and I used to take dance lessons together at Genevieve’s. I was a dancer, too. We used to wear our little costumes.”
City Councillors Leo Robinson and Calvin Brown joined other local dignitaries in paying their respects to Trina.
“Just a great young lady,” said Calvin Brown. “I’m so fortunate to having gotten to know Trina and her beautiful family. We have lost a great person, someone who loved Chelsea and gave back to her community.”
Also turning out for the memorial observances in Malden were Trina’s co-workers at Hyde Park Community Center.
“My sister was a youth counselor in Boston, so there were a lot of youths whom my sister mentored during their childhood – they spoke at the services,” said Reggie. “It was very touching to hear their stories and how much they loved my sister and what she did to help them succeed in their lives. I was like, ‘wow, for real?’
Reggie said during the observances a gentleman approached him and said, “Your sister (Trina) helped my daughter so much. She suffered from low self-esteem, her confidence level was low and she didn’t believe in her artwork. He said to me, ‘your sister mentored her and she raised her confidence level and she got my daughter to believe in her work.
“And Reggie, I want to tell you that because of Trina, my daughter was accepted to the school of her choice – and we owe this all to your sister.”
Heartwarming stories like that about Trina – a 2017 recipient of the CBC’s prestigious Chelsea Trailblazer Award – have helped Reggie and the family during this difficult time.
“Trina did so much for kids and the community in general,” said Reggie proudly. “I want to carry on her legacy of caring and kindness and her generosity of spirit.”