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Why a Mother's Day Brunch?

My Mommy, Thea Todd White, believed in giving people their flowers now! Her Mother's Day Brunches in Detroit, MI blessed many Mothers and families.  In honor of my Mommy, it is my goal to show as many Mothers as possible just how special they are!

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    Thea Todd White

    Written by: Kim Trent

    Thea Aleas Todd White was born in Detroit on November 29, 1957, the youngest of Ora and Edward Todd’s three daughters. The family initially lived on Detroit’s east side and settled in northwest Detroit in the 1960s. In 1975, she graduated from Henry Ford High School, where she made many friends that she would keep for the rest of her life.  


    She went on to earn an associate degree from Wayne County Community College in 1982, a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Detroit in 1984 and a master’s degree in social work, community organization and administration from Wayne State University in 1986. While working on her associate degree, she joined the staff of Detroit Councilwoman Maryann Mahaffey as a student intern, conducting research for legislation. She served as a legislative assistant to Mahaffey for four years. Throughout her career in politics, she leveraged her social work training to provide excellent and empathic service to constituents.  


    Thea also had stints on the staffs of Detroit council members John Peoples and Clyde Cleveland. Through her work with Cleveland, she was connected to the 1988 presidential bid of the Rev. Jesse Jackson. On that campaign, she met actress Kim Fields and actress and producer Chip Fields and later served as a publicity agent for stage productions mounted by Chip Fields.  


    From 1988 until 1994, she worked for legendary Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, serving as an executive legislative assistant and Neighborhood City Hall manager. As a member of Mayor Young’s staff, Thea helped to coordinate fundraising efforts for Nelson Mandela’s historic visit to Detroit, where he spoke to an audience of 50,000 at Tiger Stadium. Later, she was a community relations consultant for Detroit Public Schools’ then-CEO David Adamany. In her most recent job in government,  she served as chief of staff for Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones from 2006 until 2012. Her career also included more traditional social work roles. For two years, she served as social work supervisor for the Federation of Girls’ Home Emergency Shelter in Detroit. She also served as a clinical therapist for Beacon Behavioral Health Services. As chief administrative officer for Nurturing Hand LLC, she partnered with several major institutions and FEMA to provide housing, health care, educational placement, employment services to 300 families who moved to Michigan after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. For many years, she served as an adjunct social work professor at Marygrove College and Oakland University.  


    Throughout her life, Thea was an active member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Detroit, where she sang alto in several choirs and led and served on many church committees. Bible study was a source of inspiration and spiritual enrichment for Thea.  She cherished her church family and was ardently faithful to her Christian walk.     


    Thea was a devoted mother, giving her daughter, MaShanta and son, Marques, the kind of focused attention and spiritual grounding that allowed them to become successful and ethical adults.  She was a loving aunt to her nieces and nephews, who counted on her as a confidant and cheerleader.  She adored her sisters and parents. Family was always her first priority. 

    Thea had a wide network of friends that she would regularly invite to fun girls’ night out activities.  Thea was also a trusted confidant to many younger women, generously offering them advice and guidance without judgment.  


    Thea found great joy in helping people and would spend most of her days and nights in that pursuit. In her rare moments of down time, she enjoyed ballroom dance and listening to Gospel  and rhythm and blues music. 


    After a lifetime of service and with a heart filled with love, Thea Aleas Todd White passed away on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Left to celebrate her memory are her daughter, MaShanta Ashmon; her son, Marques White; her sister, Pamela Todd; her grandson, Waides Ashmon III; her nephews, Damion Todd and John Myers III; her nieces, Stacey Curtis and Tracey (Julius) Easterling; her great-nephews, Damion Todd II and Kevin Curtis II; great-nieces, Kaelyn Curtis and Sidney Easterling; goddaughters, Choi Portis, Kim Trent and Qiana Wimbley and a host of grateful friends, colleagues and relatives.


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