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Dr. Fredda Crawford Witherspoon 

1923 or 1924—1996 

Dr. Witherspoon was well known in the St. Louis region due to her educational and community commitments. 

She was born to Vanita Crawford and R. E. Crawford. She graduated valedictorian from Booker T. Washington H. S., continuing her education at Bishop College, and later earned a business degree from Hughes Business School.  

Dr. Witherspoon completed 3 master’s degrees in Psychiatric Social Work, Psychology, and Guidance and Counseling from Washington University in St. Louis. Upon completion of her PhD. She moved to St. Louis permanently. 

After moving to St. Louis, she married Robert L. Witherspoon,  

1906-1991, an attorney. Together they had two children, a son, Robert “Bob” Witherspoon, and a daughter, Vanita Nicholas.  

Dr. Fredda’s love of education was highly reflected in her professional life. She taught at Forest Park Community College for 27 years. Her Personal motto, “Everyone should do all the good she can as she passes along life’s highway; time is fleeing, and life is short to be unkind and thoughtless; we pass this way but once.”  

Dr. Witherspoon passion for education influenced her work with the children and youth department as the Youth Director at Westside MB Church on Page Blvd. She set high standards for every child and youth. Encouraging and pushing them to be the very best self from  



public speaking before the congregation, acting in plays and performing soliloquies.  

During the 1940s she and Atty. Witherspoon worked to push for the desegregation of Lewis Place an African 

 American private street. They encouraged others to vote against the use of restrictive covenants used to enforce segregation.  

She was a Soror with Iota Phi Lambda Sorority; the first African American Greek lettered business sorority established by African American businesswomen. 

Dr. Witherspoon served as the president of the MO Conference of the NAACP and as the Vice Chair of the St. Louis Urban League. 

African American Fraternities and Sororities

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