GREENSBORO - Mrs. Lessie Covington Fort departed this life for her heaven-bound destination on Monday, August 13, 2012.
Homegoing funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at Providence Baptist Church, with Dr. Howard Chubbs, pastor, officiating.
The family hour will commence promptly at 1 p.m. Following services, internment will be held at Westminster Gardens.
Lessie, the beloved wife of Dr. Edward Fort and the loving mother of Clarke and Lezlie Fort was born in Detroit, Michigan. Her parents (both deceased) were James and Victoria Covington, and her brother and sister were Jimmy Covington and Mrs. Velma Ragland (both deceased).
Growing up, she attended the Detroit public schools, graduating with honors from Pershing High School. From there she won a four year scholarship to Michigan State University - graduating in 1958, again with honors.
Shortly thereafter, she met and fell in love with Edward, her future husband. Following a year-long courtship, the couple married in 1959; after a year of teaching in Detroit, the two left to pursue Masters and Doctorate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley.
Both achieved their educational goals: Lessie earning her Master's Degree, while teaching, in educational psychology, and Ed his doctorate.
Lessie became the consummate mother of their two children. She loved them, cared for them, and guided them through their elementary, secondary, and university school years.
She, concurrently, followed her husband and supported him in administrative positions in Michigan, California, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
For 18 years she served as First Lady at North Carolina A&T State University (1981-1999). There, she demonstrated her care for students - particularly as related to (1) listening to their needs and concerns, sometimes into the late evening (2) campus beautification projects (3) chair of the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Chancellor's residence/Dudley Hall lawn (4) liaison with campus tutorial services efforts.
Finally, while at A&T, she met regularly with the wives of community leaders - providing meaningful input and leadership as related to issues impacting the area universities.
Her Christian beliefs were very strong. At Providence Baptist Church, she taught one of the first two adult Sunday School classes for nearly 3 years, and her knowledge of the Holy Bible was extensive. She instilled in her children and her husband of 52 years a great love of the Lord - following His precepts as taught in the Bible.
She is survived by her husband, Ed, her two children, Clarke and Lezlie; brothers and sister-in-law Herschel and Doris Fort and Newland Fort; Nephews and Nieces: Rod Ragland, Eddie Covington, Karyn Beach (Darren), and Devon (son), Mark Fort (Angela), and children Savannah and Dillon, Faith Fort, Kiestra Fort, Pilar Fort, Anya Monique Fort, Hillary Fort, Trevor Fort; Cousins Patrice Fort, John Fort, Judge Karen Fort-Hood, Margo Easton, Keith Fort, Kevin Fort, Fred D. Lee, Stephanie Williams; Aunt: Ollie Williams.
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