Victor Cargill, a friend of God, husband, father, partner, brother, uncle, cousin, and a friend to many was born on
October 19, 1939 in the home of his parents Willie James and Lula Mae Cargill in the city of Detroit, Michigan. He was
the youngest of 4 children, two sisters, Lillie Bell and Evelyn, and one brother, Kenneth. His father, mother, sister Lillie
and brother Kenneth(Champ) preceded him in death. Victor also had a step-sister Annie Watts who preceded him in
As a child, he was spoiled by both his mother and father. His Aunt Lee Anna always referred to him as “Lula’s Golden
Child”. He loved his mother and his mother loved him, he was always looking out for her. During his grade school days
he refused to do all what the teacher told him to do and so he ran home from school one day when he was about to get a
whipping by his teacher. Of course no punishment, he said his mother said it was okay. He could pick and choose what he
wanted to eat, his parents gave him that option therefore, this made him a picky eater forever. He was close to both
parents, he never liked to stay with his cousins or Aunts or Uncles. He always wanted to stay at home with his family. He
was baptized at Friendship Baptist Church, Detroit, MI at age 12. The joining and baptizing came after the death of his
older sister Lillie.
Victor started becoming an entrepreneur at 12 years of age as he was able to have his own newspaper route. His mother
allowed him to stop attending church so that he could do this. Because of his hard work, he earned rewards, trips, a lot of
new customers and money to help his family. With this paper route, at 16/17, he was able to purchase a new 1956
Chevrolet, but his father had to sign for it, since he was underage. This paper route also taught him to be a good provider.
He was not a lover of going to school or church, but he truly enjoyed following his father to different churches in the
evenings to hear male quartet singers. They would always stop afterward to purchase and enjoy Coney Dogs. He
attended the former Eastern High School that was located on Grand Boulevard and Mack Avenue in Detroit graduating
in January, 1958. His big lifetime goals were to go to the service, get married, and have children which he said he proudly
achieved and felt good about it. He took such good care of his family.
In July 1957, he met the love of his life, Florida Cooke. He met her on the corner of Forest and Holcomb in Detroit. She
was visiting her Aunt Ethel and Uncle Sam for the summer. They had their first date on Sunday, July 9 th after Florida
returned from church. It was a date to Belle Isle Park with his brother and another friend and their girlfriends. They fell
in love, and after that first date they did not miss a day seeing each other for 6 months. Victor enjoyed taking Florida
around to meet his family. One time while having dinner with Florida and her aunt and uncle, he was asked to say the
blessing of the food and he explained that he did not know how. Florida’s Aunt Ethel questioned his home training. With
the help of Florida coaxing and the good Lord, he finally got it together. Florida’s mother insisted on her return to St.
Louis in December, 1957 against Victor’s better wishes. However, he endured the pain of separation and enlisted in the
U.S. Army in June, 1958. One of his joys was to retell the story of their courtship to anyone who wanted to listen.
During his tour of duty, they had an opportunity to see each other after his basic training. He visited her in St. Louis and
they visited his family in Detroit. When he was shipped overseas he placed an engagement ring for Florida in the layaway.
However, Florida wrote him a Dear John letter while he was there and they broke up. He took the layaway money from
the engagement ring and used it for some R&R in South Korea. Upon his return to the states in December, 1959, after a
year being stationed in South Korea, she decided she was ready to get married and he was also ready. Her aunt had
informed her by phone that he was back in Detroit, so she called him and the first thing he asked her, was “if she was
ready to get married”. Of course, she said yes because that is why she called him in the first place. He told her he would
be there the next day. When he arrived in St. Louis, Florida was nowhere to be found. She had gone to a movie at the old
Comet Theater to tell her current boyfriend that she was going to get married to Victor. When she arrived back at her
apartment after the movie she found Victor waiting for her along with others that lived in the apartment, for example her
roommate Elsie. They were all peeping out the door to give her the heads up that he was inside. During his short stay in
St. Louis they set a wedding date of April 16, 1960. He was ready to get married right then and there, but she wanted a
wedding. After their beautiful marriage, they moved to Detroit for a year to find work. However, the time for
employment in Detroit was bad for African Americans, so after a year in Detroit, they moved back to St. Louis
September, 1961, so Victor could accept a temporary job at St. Louis County Hospital. He did not like being unemployed
with a family to provide for. They lived with her mother and father for several months and then moved to 218 Lithia
where they lived for 3 years. While living on Lithia, their first born Victor ,Jr was born and then she became pregnant
with her second child, Stefanie. Due to the enlargement of their family, they built their first home at 153 Willis where
their 3 rd child was born, Michael. In August, 1978 they moved to their current home in Creve Coeur.
In January, 1991 Victor retired from Chrysler Corporation – Truck Plant. A lot of lasting friendships were made during
his employment there. Upon his retirement he started up the Cargill Contracting Company and got involved in securing
and purchasing rental property until this day. He treated his tenants and those who worked for him with so much respect
and most of them enjoyed him as a landlord and an employer. He was always inspiring the young men to better
themselves and do right in their relationships. Whether you liked it or not he was always going to give you his brotherly
or fatherly advice. Victor enjoyed playing backgammon with his buddy Albert Cooper and he was an avid chess player,
spending many moments competing against himself via the computer. He was such a supporter of Florida in her various
volunteer projects at the church and at home, never telling her no.
Victor leaves behind his wife, Florida and their 3 awesome children, Victor, Jr, Stefanie E., and Michael J. Cargill, his
sister Evelyn Boggerty, Detroit, MI, sister in laws Thelma Phillips, Beverly Cooke and Ethel Martinez-St. Louis, Brenda
Howard- Detroit; his brother in laws, Clarence McElroy-Detroit and Marcus Martinez-St. Louis, longtime friends
William and Patricia Foster and Albert Cooper. A great host of cousins, nephews and nieces in St. Louis, Detroit, Texas,
California, Illinois, New York, Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, his other family in Memphis, TN and many longtime friends
from Chrysler Corporation, his neighborhood, and his church family.
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until
the day of Jesus Christ - Philippians 1:6 KJV
(For God had a purpose in view when He began His saving work in Victor.)
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