The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 2, 2013

Community activist ‘Bill’ Calvert dies


TARBORO — Lena “Bill” Calvert,  87, active in the Tarboro and Edgecombe County community for more than half-a-century,  died Wednesday night after suffering a stroke at the Fountains at the Albemarle.

Graveside services were held Sunday afternoon at Greenwood Cemetery followed by a memorial service at Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church.

She was a founding member of the Tarboro Woman’s Club and, was recognized in September 2012 when the club observed its 60th anniversary.

“Being in the Tarboro Woman’s Club has been one of the highlights in my life and meeting the nicest people in Tarboro,” she said at the time.

As a member of Howard Memorial, Calvert served as a deacon , Sunday School teacher, and active member of the Women of the Church for over 65 years.

Calvert and Madeleine Bass, her co-founder of the Woman’s Club. revived the Salvation Army’s Kettle program in Tarboro and raised more than $90,000 over a nine-year span.

In January 2009, Calvert was named Citizen of the Year.

Calvert leaves quite a legacy, having started the first girls basketball team at Tarboro High School while a substitute.

Calvert was also an active member of various boards dealing with mental health, hospice, the hospital, Hilma Country Club, The Red Cross (A Gray Lady “back in the day’), The Salvation Army and at her church.

Calvert graduated from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton) and attended Wake Forest University the first year female students were admitted.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Nichols Calvert, a son, Reynolds Sermons Calvert and a sister, Frances Turner.

Survivors include her daughter. Lida Hayes Calvert Hayes of Winston-Salem and her son-in-law David Hayes. Her grandchildren, Flora Trust Stopher, (Gregg) of Atlanta, Owen Calvert and (Maythi), Dr. Joseph Hayes Calvert and (Dr. Connie) of Winston-Salem. Her great grandchildren, Reilly Calvert, Owen Calvert, Trust Stopher. Reese Calvert, Greyson Stopher and Preston Calvert. A sister Leslie Dawn McCombs (Bill) of New Bern.