Lessie Davis Clayborne, peacefully entered eternal rest on August 3, 2012 at 7:40 p.m. at Southside Regional Medical Center, Petersburg.
Lessie was the ninth child born to the late Alonza and Otelia Davis on December 3, 1923, in Forest, Virginia, and was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Dr. William M. Clayborne; four brothers, William Davis, Harrison Davis, Houston Davis and Jasper Davis; and three sisters, Oneatha D. Cobbs, Elsie D. Thaxton and Augusta D. Wooten
After graduating from high school in Bedford County, Virginia, she attended Virginia State College (now University) where she received her Bachelor and Master’s Degree in education. She also studied at Columbia University in New York. Lessie returned to Lynchburg after graduating from college and began teaching in Altavista, Virginia. While teaching in Altavista, she met and married her late husband in 1953 and they made their home in Ettrick, Virginia. She later received a teaching position at Harrison Grove Elementary School in Prince George County and then moved to J.E.J. More High School as an English teacher. After a number of years teaching in Prince George County, she began teaching English at Petersburg High School where she retired. Lessie joined the Altha Grove Baptist Church in Forest, Virginia as a child. After relocating to Ettrick, she joined the Gillfield Baptist Church in the late 1950’s under the leadership of Reverend Wyatt T. Walker. Before her health began to decline, Lessie was very involved in the church; she was a member of the Sanctuary Choir, the Trustee Board and the Parish Club. She was a member of the Petersburg Retired Teachers’ Association, the Greater Petersburg Area Alumni Association and a life and golden soror member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Lessie loved to travel and play cards; she also belonged to several card and bridge clubs. She and her late husband also enjoyed entertaining friends and family in their home.
Lessie leaves to cherish her memories: one sister, Virginia D. Jefferson; two devoted nieces, Shirley C. Shepperson (Willie) and Hazel C. Randall (James); two nephews, Gilliam M. Cobbs (Irene) and William D. Wooten (Joann); two step-daughters, Connie E. Whitfield (Robert) and Verna E. Clayborne; five step-grandchildren, Dr. Anike Whitfield, Brook Clayborne Brewer, Jeannette Clayborne, Princess Clayborne and a very devoted step-grandson, Jawanza Whitfield (Martha); four step-great grandchildren, Maya Whitfield, Sean Brewer, Jaylen Brewer and Aaron Whitfield; and a number of cousins, other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Gillfield Baptist Church College Incentive Fund.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at the Gillfield Baptist Church, 209 Perry Street, Petersburg, with the pastor, the Reverend George W.C. Lyons, Jr. , officiating. Interment will follow in the Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday evening, August 7, 2012 at the chapel of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, Petersburg. An Ivy Beyond the Wall Memorial Service will be conducted by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Omega Chapter at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the staff of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, Petersburg. For more information or to leave an online condolence, visit us at www.blandnenterprisesinc.com.