Mabel Lee Cook Epps, 96, of Emporia, VA, transitioned to heaven on Sunday, December 6, 2020. She was born on July 26, 1924 to the late Robert Clayborn Cook and Ida Lucas Cook. Her mother, Ida, passed when Mabel was nine days old. Her grandmother Linnie Lucas Ross took her to her home in Pleasant Shade, VA, to nurture and rear her. A few years later, Mabel’s father, Robert, married Alter Fordam and moved to Clairton, PA. To this union, two boys were born, Robert Clayborn and Kenneth Earl.
Mabel, a product of Greensville County Public Schools, was a member of the 1941 graduating class of Greensville County Training School. She loved school, and had great admiration for her teachers and fellow classmates. Mabel was a proud 1945 graduate of Virginia State College for Negros, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. She was an active member of the Glee Club at Virginia State and really enjoyed singing with this group.
Teaching/cultivating the minds of young people was Mabel’s passion. She started her teaching career and taught at Hill School, a one-room school in Skippers, VA. She taught at several other Greensville County Elementary Schools, and ended her teaching career as a Reading Specialist, retiring in June, 1981. Some reasons Mabel enjoyed her teaching career included well behaved children, providing great opportunity while teaching and reading to them, cursive writing and spelling bees. She also taught Adult Education (Night School), where many individuals received their GED. Students not only gained respect for themselves, but also for Mabel. She touched a multitude of students in the Greensville County Public Schools System.
On March 9, 1946 at the Greensville County Clerk's Office, Mabel joined James Lee Epps in holy matrimony. They were married for 66 years and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, March 8, 1996, at Shiloh Baptist Church with family and friends.
Mabel was a woman of strong faith and loved the Lord. She accepted Christ at an early age at Shiloh Baptist Church where she attended Sunday School, read The Holy Bible, and learned about Jesus Christ. Some of the church activities that Mabel was involved in were singing in the Senior Choir, Director of Christian Education, Vacation Bible School, and Sunday School Teacher. Mabel believed that God had a special calling on her life; to bring comfort to residents at local nursing homes by visiting them and reading and reciting scripture.
Some of her community activities were NAACP, Reach for Recovery, a Breast Cancer Survivor group, Greensville County Hospital, and Retired Teachers Association. She was ecstatic to cast her vote and elect the first Black President of the United States for both terms. Most recently she participated in absentee voting, electing President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris, the first Black Female Vice President of the United States. While a resident at Senior Living Facilities, Mabel continued to minister to fellow residents and staff through prayer, scripture and song. She met and enjoyed having conversations with many residents including fun activities such as BINGO, musical performances, joy rides and ice cream socials, to name a few.
Mabel was very proud of her family and their accomplishments. She leaves to cherish her memory loving and devoted children, June E. Pearson (Eddie), James Bernard Epps (Doretha), Robert Kenneth Epps, Sr. (Judith), Anita E. Anderson, and son at heart, Cornell Hines (Shirley); 13 grandchildren, Erika LaShea, Darrin, Dalayna, Isaac, Roderick, Lamont, Lucretia, Robert Jr., Bridget, Bryan, Christopher, Edwardo and Tracy; 24 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great grandchildren; one brother, Kenneth E. Cook, Col US Army Ret; sisters-in-law, Pauline S. Epps and Arona Cook; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and many neighbors and friends.
Relatives and Friends are encouraged to visit Mrs. Epps' tribute wall to share memories, extend condolences and to order floral tributes, as sentiments to the family.
The Management and Staff of Knox-High Mortuary, Inc. is privileged to provide
"Distinctive Services, With The Essence Of Excellence"
to the family of Mrs. Mabel Lee Cook Epps.
We ask that you join us in remembering the family in both thought and prayer.
"Diligent in Business; Fervent in Spirit." - Romans: 12:11
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