Lena Sampson White was born in Donalsonville, Georgia, on February 12, 1934, to the late Leroy Sampson Sr. and Creola Mike Sampson. She was the third of five children (Harold, Blanche, Leroy Jr. “Sonny”, and Arna); all of whom preceded her in death. Their cousin, Oweda “Weet” Mike Mayfield (deceased), was also raised with them.
From her youth, Lena (“Lillun”, as she was fondly called by her brothers) attended Live Oak African Methodist Episcopal Church with her family. After graduating high school, she attended Fort Valley State College (later University), where she majored in Education. After graduation, she taught elementary school in Seminole County, Georgia. She later met and married Paul White (deceased) on July 31, 1959. From that union were born two two daughters, Debra “Debbie” and Paula (deceased).
In the early 1960’s, the family moved to Miami, Florida, where Lena taught at Orchard Villa Elementary School in Liberty City. After desegregation, she then transferred to North Beach Elementary School in Miami Beach. The family moved back to Georgia in 1980 to help care for her aging parents. Lena again taught in the Seminole County School System until she retired.
In addition to being an excellent educator, Lena was a very talented musician and used those special talents to serve THE LORD. While in Florida, she served as a Church Musician for several years at Saint Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church in Miami Gardens. Upon returning to Georgia in 1980, she became the Church Musician for Cypress Pond Missionary Baptist Church in Iron City, Georgia, as well as Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Sneads, Florida, where she served faithfully for over thirty years.
She loved art and had a special knack for creating things, always willing to learn something new. In recent years, she learned how to crochet. Before too long, she was crocheting blankets, masks, caps, and anything else she could think of, giving them away as gifts to family and friends.
She enjoyed watching old westerns and detective shows on tv. Her favorite show was “Perry Mason”.
A very humble person with a very sweet and giving spirit, Lena was never one to complain or “raise a fuss”. During her latter years, she even volunteered to deliver meals for Meals on Wheels. She was unselfish and always willing to help anyone in need.
Lena loved her family dearly, and they most certainly loved her too. But most of all, Lena loved THE LORD, and was a faithful servant until the very end.
Lena leaves behind her loving daughter, Debra Jones; four grandchildren: Shelena, Dava, David Jr., and Olyvia; eleven great grandchildren (and one on the way); brother-in-law, Robert White (Veronica); sisters-in-law, Eugenia “Precious” Sampson and Carolyn Sampson; nieces: Anita Johnson (Marvin), Janet Sampson, and Tamara Sampson Akoto (Winston); nephews: Alan Sampson (Annie), Leroy Sampson III (Maria), and Kenyon White (Olivia); special neighbors, Rev. and Mrs. Douglas Barber; special friends: Shirley Overstreet, Anna Wynn, and Rev. and Mrs. Joseph Jackson; and a host of former students, friends and relatives to cherish her memory.
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