The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Obituaries Archives

November 29, 2013


TARBORO — TARBORO — Lena Howard Sermons Calvert — “Bill” — as everyone knew my mother died Wednesday night after suffering a stroke at The Fountains of the Albemarle Retirement Center in Tarboro.

Bill was born in Ft. Barnwell, NC, to Leslie & Lucille Sermons. She was born into a family that loved the Lord with beliefs to give back to others. Bill was always finding a way to help someone else and had friends from all walks of life. She was deeply loved by all and was a people person with a big smile on her face and a hug for all. She was a Deacon , Sunday School Teacher, and active member of the Women of the Church for many years at her beloved Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church for over 65 years. I cannot remember many Sundays that Mother was not in her favorite seat near the front row of the Church.

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

“Bill” graduated from Atlanta Christian College and was in the May Court. She also attended Wake Forest University the first year women were admitted.

“Bill” loved her home town of Tarboro. She was president of many clubs from the Gray Ladies to the Tarboro Women Club. Bill started the Salvation Army red kettle and brought it back to Tarboro. No matter how cold it was she was ringing the bell. She was also awarded the outstanding citizen of Tarboro Award and led the Tarboro Christmas Parade sitting on the back of her convertible.

Lena Howard Sermons Calvert is survived by 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. Bill was so excited about shopping for her grandchildren for this Christmas and said her Christmas list was complete. Bill would bring in orphans at Christmas to her home, so one never knew who would arrive. Christmas was Special to Bill.

Thanks to all friends in Tarboro, friends across the State of North Carolina and to her beach friends at Surf City who were a big part of Bill’s life.

Her family appreciates the Fountains at the Albemarle, the Staff and her helpers Ocie and Alice who were always there to help a very special lady. Bill was and will always be a Tarboro institution and will be greatly missed.

Graveside services will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Greenwood Cemetery with a memorial service celebrating Bill’s life at 2:30 p.m. at Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church in Tarboro. A reception will follow in the fellowship of the church following the service.

Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army, The Tarboro Community Outreach and by doing something special for someone in need this Christmas in honor of Lena Howard Sermons Calvert

Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting the Carlisle Funeral Home website.

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