Mrs. Gertrude Arleen Taylor Laster, age 99, lived in Siler City formerly of Athens, GA, peacefully transitioned on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at the Siler City Center in Siler City, NC. Viewing will be Saturday, June 13, 2020 at Knotts and Son Chapel. Graveside Service will be in Georgia at Batts & Bridges Funeral Home 3035 Atlanta Hwy. Athens, GA 30606,
Mrs. Gertrude Arleen Taylor Laster, known to us as "Aunt Leen" , was the youngest of six children born to Rev. Clemmon Joseph Taylor and Lala Siler Taylor on October 27, 1920. She accepted Christ at an early age and became a member of First Baptist Church in Siler City, North Carolina.
She attended and graduated from the Chatham County Training Schools in Siler City, North Carolina and also attended and graduated from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina with a degree in Elementary Education.
Arleen was married to the late Leonard Jewel Laster and to this Union they had one son, Leonard Nathaniel Laster, who preceded her in death.
Arleen taught school in Siler City for five years, then relocated to Georgia and taught in Valdosta and Madison Georgia for five years. Shen then began a 28 year career in Athens, Georgia. She was the first African American to hold the position of Associate Director of Personnel at the Clark County School District for 13 years. She retired in 1984 after working a total of 40 years with the public schools of North Carolina and Georgia.
Arleen joined Greater Bethel AME Church in 1954 and was active until her health declined and she relocated back to North Carolina in 2012. She enjoyed singing in the Senior Choir, working with the Finance Committee, Women’s Guild, Steward Board, Trustee Board and retired as Trustee Emeritus. She enjoyed working in the kitchen with the Women’s Guild raising money for special projects. She was also active in her community and enjoyed traveling. Her memorable trips include traveling to East South Africa in 1992 for 16 days and to South Africa in 1995 for 12 days.
Her favorite scripture, John 3:16 and her favorite hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”.
She leaves to cherish her memories; grandson - Linwood Hill (Katrina) of Athens, GA; nieces – Mary Louise Alston and Margie Ann Person both of Siler City, North Carolina; special great-niece, Phyllis A. Alston of Fort Mill, South Carolina, five great-grandchildren, three great- great-grandchildren and a host of other nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
We would like to thank each and everyone for your calls, visits and cards sent to Aunt Leen when she moved to North Carolina. It meant so much to stay connected in some way with her home in Athens. We thank you for loving and caring for her even when her health wouldn’t permit her to stay with you longer. You continued to keep in touch and for that she was truly appreciative.
Professional Services Entrusted to: Knotts and Son-Siler City.
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