December 2014

  1. Obituary-Annie L. Lambert

    Annie L. Lambert was born on May 29, 1947 in Emporia, Virginia. She was the daughter of the late Geraldine Allen and James L. Brown. In the evening hours of Wednesday, December 24, 2014,she greeted the angel who entered her room at Emporia Manor to dispatch her soul to the land of eternal rest.

    Annie was educated in the Baltimore, Maryland Private Schools. She was a loving and caring mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, aunt and friend who will be missed dearly by all who knew her.

    Annie leaves to cherish her memories her husband; Willie J. Lambert Sr. of Emporia, Virginia, five children; TyRon Lambert of Atlanta, GA, Willie J. Lambert (Kim) of Maryland, Sherry Lynn Avery (James) of Maryland, James Lambert, Pam Lambert of Richmond, VA, four sisters; Phyllis A. Watson (Jessie) of Emporia, VA, Kim Waller (Franklin) of Maryland, Charlene Branch (Melvin) of Emporia, Virginia, and Mary Parker (James) of Emporia, Virginia, five brothers; Junius Woodley (deceased), Altonia Brown (Karen) of Baltimore, Maryland, Masceo Brown of Maryland, Carlos Brown of Emporia, Virginia and Micky Brown (Treva) of Maryland, a devoted friend; Kim Graham and a host of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

    Funeral Services will be conducted on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 2 P.M. in the Chapel of R. E. Pearson & Son Funeral Service in Emporia, Virginia. Reverend George Johnson, Officiating, Eulogist. Internment will follow in the Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Emporia, Virginia.

    The staff of R.E. Pearson and Son Funeral Service, 556 Halifax Street, Emporia, Virginia, are in charge of the arrangements.

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  2. Obituary-Cleaton Edward Malone, Jr.

    Cleaton Edward Malone, Jr. of Jarratt passed peacefully on December 30, 2014 at the age of 67.He is survived by one daughter, Tara Lee Malone-Menendez; her husband Joe Menendez; one son,Christopher Edward Malone; his wife Susan and three grandchildren; Olivia Lee Menendez; Claire Elizabeth Malone andAnna Catherine Malone. All his friends new him as Ed and he was known by all as a kind person. Visitation will be held at Owens Funeral Home Thursday the 1st of January from 6pm to 8pm.Funeral services will be held January 2nd  at Main Street Baptist Church of Emporia at 11am and followed by a private graveside service.

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  3. Obituary-Dorothy Lee Delbridge Sykes

    Dorothy Lee Delbridge Sykes, 91, of Emporia passed away on December 23, 2014.  She was the widow of Gilbert A. Sykes, Sr.  She is survived by her daughter Sonja Sykes Soles and husband Billy; sons Gilbert A. Sykes, Jr. and James Randolph Sykes; grandchildren Bryan Soles, Steve Soles, Christen Parrish, Mark Lee, Stephanie Rawlings, Jennifer Sykes and John Sykes and 12 great-grandchildren.  A visitation will be held Friday, 7-8:30pm, in Echols Funeral Home Chapel.  A graveside service will be held Saturday, 2pm, in Emporia Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to

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  4. Obituary-Claude Allen King

    God’s Divine Will has once again been manifested in our lives as He has summoned the angels to transition our sweet and beloved, Claude Allen King from Life to Eternal Life on Thursday, December 11, 2014. He peacefully left this earthy life to live eternally with God. Knowing that our lives are just a vapor and we did not come here to stay, Claude recognized the voice of his savior calling him from labor to eternal rest and he surrendered.

    Claude was born in Richmond, VA on September 7, 1965 to Donald S. King and the Arnette A. King. He received his education from the Richmond Public School System. He held various jobs which included Qualex Corp., Roadside Furniture, Boar’s Head and Wal-Mart. His hobbies included painting, car detailing, and laying carpet.

    Claude met Patricia Webb and they were together for twenty-five years. They were united in Holy Matrimony on October 19, 2007. To this union, they were blessed with two beautiful daughters; Talesha Danielle and Tamia Latrice King,

    Claude was preceded in death by his mother; Arnette A. King and a brother; Donald King, Jr.

    He leaves to cherish his memories his wife; Patricia King, two daughters; Talesha and Tamia King, his father; Donald S. King, Sr., four special children he considered his own; Ashlei Harrison and Jalyn, Joi and James Joyner, three sisters; Ashley Wright, Lisa and Cassandra King, one brother; Karl (Tamesha) King, mother and father-in-law; Mildred and Johnnie Webb, Jr., four sisters-in-law; Pamela McBeth, Priscilla Butts, Veronica Holmes and Amanda Bradley-Seaborne, two brothers-in-law; Christopher (Tayna) Webb and Patrick (Natarsha) Webb and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

    A Celebration Of Life for Mr. Claude A. King will be conducted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. at Royal Baptist Church in Emporia, Virginia. Reverend Nathan Brooks, Pastor. Pastor Reginald Goodman, Eulogist.

    Mr. King will be laid to rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Emporia, Virginia.

    The staff of R.E. Pearson and Son Funeral Service, 556 Halifax Street, Emporia, Virginia, are in charge of the arrangements.

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  5. Obituary-Mary Etta Batten Jones

    Mary Etta Batten Jones is the daughter of the late Beulah Lee Allen and Richard Allen. She was born in Whitakers, North Carolina on February 20, 1932.

    At an early age, Mary’s family moved from Whitakers to Suffolk, Virginia with the railroad. Mary’s father employment transferred him to Emporia where the family made their home. Mary attended the Greensville County Public School System and Edgecombe County, North Carolina Schools. The family attended Mount Calvary Holiness Church when they first arrived in Emporia because it was in walking distance. Mary served as secretary of the Sunday School. After the family purchased a home on the Southside of town, the family united with Shiloh Baptist Church. Mary was baptized under the leadership of the late Reverend E.J. Vaughan. She served as an usher and chairperson of the Hospitality Committee. She later united with her son, the late Deacon Garry Allen, with the Rising Star Baptist Church Family. She remained there faithfully until her health declined.

    Mary was united in marriage to the late Estea Franklin and in 1969 to the late George H. Jones. Together, they reared five children. Two preceded her in death; Garry and Rhoda

    Mary was active in her community. She moved to the Falling Run Community in 1970 and organized the residents to come together and advocate for paved streets. Through her efforts along with the late Honorable Garland Fasion, former Board of Supervisor member, St. John Street, Salem Drive and Vincent Drive were all paved and now maintained by VDOT. She was employed with Southampton Textile and assisted with organizing a Union and served as President. She was also a member of the Greenvilles NAACP Unit. Mary and her late husband George were chartered members of American Legion Post 151 and the Auxiliary. Mary served as President of the Auxiliary for several years and was involved in several activities on the local and state level . Mary also loved her neighbors and especially the children. She always kept snacks for the neighborhood kids who would come to her house throughout the day getting their daily treats. She would also spend most Sunday evenings walking through the neighborhood, visiting the sick and shut in. She never drove a car but was the first one at an event or church.

    Left to hold fond memories close to their hearts are one son; Kirby of Emporia, Virginia, two daughters; Debra (Richard) of Emporia, Virginia and Cheryl of the home, one granddaughter; Richanda Brown of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, one great-granddaughter; Synari Reynolds, one step-daughter; Marie Jones of Richmond, Virginia, one step-granddaughter; Andrea Jones of Richmond, Virginia, one brother; Estee Pittman of Rocky Mount North Carolina and several nieces, cousins and friends.

    Homegoing Services will be conducted on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 12 NOON at Rising Star Baptist Church in Emporia, Virginia. Reverend Colonius Avent, Pastor.

    Mrs. Jones will be laid to rest in the Rising Star Church cemetery.

    The staff of R.E. Pearson and Son Funeral Service, 556 Halifax Street, Emporia, Virginia, are in charge of the arrangements.

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  6. Obituary-Marvin Harmond Singleton

    On July 28, 1945, the sun rose and an angel was born named Marvin Harmond Singleton to the late Frank and Mary Eva Singleton in Emporia, Virginia.]

    Marvin accepted Christ at an early age and joined the Royal Baptist Church. He retired from Toll Brothers after many years of service. When his health began to fail, God sent an angel, Maybell Taylor Whitson, a loving mother of two children, to take him in. She cared for him until he departed this life on December 5, 2014. He loved riding his bicycle and visiting his family.

    Marvin was preceded in death by three sisters; Sarah R. Allen, Alma Sumerll, and Elmon Wilson Person and three brothers; William E. Wilson Jr., Donald F. Singleton and Leonard Singleton.

    Marvin leaves to cherish his memories three sons; Marvin Barnes (Jackie) of Texas, Marvin Taylor and Dexter Taylor (Tasha) both of Emporia, VA, six grandchildren, two great grandchildren, one sister; Nancy M. Williams of Emporia, VA and a host of nieces, nephews and other extended family.

    Funeral Services will be conducted on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 2 P.M. in the Chapel of R.E. Pearson & Son Funeral Services in Emporia, Virginia. Apostle James H. Tucker, Officiating. Internment will follow in the Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Emporia, Virginia.

    The staff of R.E. Pearson and Son Funeral Service, 556 Halifax Street, Emporia, Virginia, are in charge of the arrangements.

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  7. Obituary-Rosa Grizzard Powell Ferguson

    Rosa Grizzard Powell Ferguson, 96, of Petersburg, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, December 10, 2014. She was the daughter of the late John and Annie Mae Talbott Grizzard. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Jesse Powell and Wilson Ferguson; her grandsons, Eddie Thrailkill and Gerald Tomlinson, and eight brothers and sisters. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Emporia, Virginia and attended Lighthouse Baptist Church, Petersburg. Mrs. Ferguson is survived by a daughter, Ida Hartsoe; her two granddaughters, Yvonne Thompson and Vivian Padgett (Rodger), whom she raised as her own children; two grandsons, Michael Tombs (Karla) and Harry Thrailkill (Julie); granddaughter, Wanda Brooks (Rodney); ten great-grandchildren and twelve great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by three sisters, Doris Mayes, Gertrude Walwer, Minnie Sue Smith and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held 2:00 P.M Friday December 12, 2014 in the Petersburg Chapel of the E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory, 3935 S. Crater Road with Pastor Ron Short officiating. Entombment will follow in Southlawn Memorial Park, Prince George, Virginia. The family will receive friends from 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. Thursday December 11, 2014 at the funeral home. Condolences may be registered at

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  8. Editorial

    Undoubtedly, most of you have noticed the new banner at the top of the page.  Yes, the one that reads "Happy Holidays from Emporia News."   This banner has caused one reader much consternation.  The fist message I received after posting the banner was one asking why not "Merry Christmas." That is actually paraphrased from the original message, which reads as follows: "your header on the home page?????  why not --Merry Christmas -- it is the birthday of Christ ???? (sic)"

    My response was simple and straightforward: "Thank you for you recent submission.  I chose to use the phrase "Happy Holidays" as opposed to "Merry Christmas," for a variety of reasons, mainly the fact that there are more holidays than Christmas in December.   I know that my readership includes people of all faiths, those that celebrate Christmas those that celebrate Hanukkah, and, quite honestly, those that celebrate nothing at all."

    I am hesitant to share exact text of the messages, but feel that I must, in light of the last message I have received from this reader: "so that clearly tells me where you stand in your beliefs -- sad to say what a community outreach you have at your fingertips and you choose not to witness the love of Jesus-  I will personally (every chance I get) will recommend  to others in the community not to use this webb site ---Think about it--  Sincerely In Christ -- and  may You have a Merry Christmas ____(sic)"

    I have shared the entire exchange with  you, so that I may explain where I stand.  While I do consider myself a Christian, I do not believe in forcing my beliefs upon another person.   Emporia is a diverse community, we have Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Agnostic, and Atheist citizens in our community.  We have Black, White, Latino, Asian and those of mixed heritage in our community.  We have young, old and in-between in our community.  The readers of Emporia News are from the same wide spectrum of Mankind that makes up our community.   In my capacity as Publisher of Emporia News, it is my privilege to serve all members of the community, though, not just those that call themselves Christians.

    While many of us may never see eye to eye on all topics, I do hope that all of us can strive to treat all Mankind as Children of God. 

    Why should Christians not share the joy of Hanukkah, Jesus Christ was, after all, an Observant Jew; even if we do not celebrate the Festival of Lights, we can most certainly respect our friends and neighbors that do.  Why should I not share Kwanza with my neighbor, even if I am a white guy?  What about Festivus, a celebration that was completely made up on the sitcom Seinfield?  If anyone wishes to celebrate Festivus, please share your photos.

    The Holiday Season is about more than the Birth of Christ or the Miracle of the Oil, but is about spending time with the ones you love.  It matters not, to me at least, how or when you celebrate any more than it matters to me what you celebrate. 

    This I say directly to the reader who raised the concern about the content of my banner:  I am sorry that my wish to be inclusive has caused you anguish.  If you feel that you must boycott this page, I cannot stop you.  Emporia News, though, is not a platform for my personal beliefs any more than it is a platform for your personal beliefs.  It is a community service, to the entire community, yourself included. 

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  9. Obituary-Willie Burton Wrenn

    Willie Burton Wrenn, 88, of Emporia passed away on December 5, 2014.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Mae and Richard Wrenn and sisters, Mary Lee Pearson and Jean W. Ciletti.  He is survived by his brother, Reid Wrenn and wife Sarah and his sisters, Margaret Thrower, Elvin Picano, Ruby Rawlings, Frances Matson and Linda Joyner and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was a World War II Army veteran who served in the South Pacific.  A visitation will be held on Saturday, 6-8pm, in Echols Funeral Home Chapel.  A funeral service will be held Sunday, 2pm, in Echols Funeral Home Chapel followed by interment in Fountain Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to

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  10. Obituary-Freddie Williams

    Freddie Williams, 75, of Skippers, died Tuesday, December 2, 2014. He was preceded in death his parents, Thomas and Rachel Williams; sister, Barbara D. Little and brother, Billy ‘Wimp” Williams. He is survived by his brother, The Reverend Kenneth Williams and wife, Shirley of Newsoms, Virginia, his twin brother, Eddie Williams and wife, JoAnn of Emporia, Virginia and his sister, Dottie Williams of Courtland, Virginia; three nephews and four nieces. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, December 6at Forest Hill Baptist Church. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Forest Hill Baptist Church Maintenance Fund, c/o Debbie Moseley, 5246 Brink Rd, Emporia, Virginia 23847. Online condolences may be made at

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