Lena Graves Pearson was the fourth child born to the late Joseph P. and Nannie Maclin Graves of Warfield, Virginia on Feb. 24, 1922. She departed this life on Friday evening, Jan. 24, 2020 in the serenity of her home surrounded by family.
Lena was an active member of Saint James Episcopal Church, Warfield. She had served in the following positions: Choir Member, Youth Advisor, President of the Episcopal Women, Senior Warden, Vestry Member, Treasurer and other numerous organizations and activities over the years until her health began to fail.
She received her elementary and high school education through Warfield Elementary and St. Paul’s High School and also attended St. Paul’s Normal and Industrial School for two years. Lena received her bachelor’s and master’s from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) and did her post graduate studies at the University of Virginia. She began her teaching career in 1940 at the age of 18 in Powhatan County, Virginia in a one room school. She was employed in the positions of Teacher, Head teacher, Guidance Counselor, Elementary School Supervisor, Director of Federal Programs, Academic Skills Specialist, Director of Teacher Education Center and a consultant in the Brunswick County Schools, Southside Virginia Community College and Saint Paul’s College. Lena worked until 1996 retiring with 56 years as an educator.
She has received numerous awards from different organizations. Lena had been recognized over the years by different graduating classes, but the one that warmed her heart the most was on Aug. 3, 2018 when she was honored by the former elementary students of House-Manning School at their Class Reunion as the oldest living teacher.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Johnie of 65 years on Nov. 21, 2013, her sister and brother-in-law, Edna and Horace Humphrey; a nephew, Jerri Bass and a grandson, Leslie Blair.
She is survived by her adopted daughter, Eugenia D. Pearson, Chester, Virginia, one grandchild, two devoted nieces, Nannie Edmonds-Wall (Odell) and Priscilla Pearson-Vincent (Clinton) of Henrico, N.C.; a devoted nephew, Michael Ray Pearson, Sr.(Denise) of Richmond, Virginia; a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, former students and a host of friends.