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Obituaries

Doris Ruth Winfield Hester

SoVaNow.com / November 06, 2018


Doris Ruth Winfield Hester was born on Sept. 2, 1928 in New Jersey. Doris was the daughter of Alexander Winfield and Rosalie Burrell.

Doris is survived by her sister Joan Winfield Overby and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and relatives.

Doris is predeceased by her parents and two siblings Russell, Sr. and Wilbur Chavis.

The children suffered a great loss early in their childhoods when Rosalie died as a young mother. Alexander brought his children to live with Hattie Olivia and Jerry Burrell who adopted the four children and lived in the Jeffries area in Clarksville.


Doris was involved in many social, religious and political causes. She was the chairman of the Electoral board and served on the boards for the YMCA, Red Cross Regional board, Board of Literacy Interactives, Inc. and advisory board for the Mecklenburg County Correctional Center. Doris and was a member of the Mecklenburg Criminal Justice Board, and the Ethics Community of Community Memorial Healthcenter. Doris served as secretary and first aid instructor for the American Red Cross, and was past president of the United Way, YMCA, and Club Riviera and was a member of the Link’s Inc. Doris was a poll volunteer and mentor for the area youth.


Doris’s education began in the Mecklenburg County. After graduating West End High School at the age of sixteen Doris attended St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, where she earned her undergraduate degree, and later attended Longwood College and received her master’s in mathematics from Syracuse University. She was a fellow at from National Science Foundation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Simmons College.


She married John Arthur Hester and the two had three children, John Arthur Jr., Jerome Attrill, and Catherine who predecease her.

Doris is survived by her beloved grandson Jordan Alexander Hester and her daughter in law Shaun Spencer-Hester. John and Doris where happily married for over sixty years. The two enjoyed their time together fishing, harvesting their vegetable garden, taking long weekend bus trips to New Jersey, or drove into Danville or South Boston for Saturday shopping, dinner and bingo before returning home. The two knew how to have fun. After Doris’s retirement you could find her on Wednesday afternoon at the YWCA in Clarksville seated at the Bridge Club table with her partner Doris.


Doris was baptized as a young girl at the St. Matthew Baptist Church in Clarksville. She became a member of the choir, Sunday school teacher, church mother and historian. She was active member of the Lott Carey Baptist Convention, and a member of the Bluestone-Harmony Baptist Association. 
Doris was also an Olympic Torch Bearer in 1996 She ran 1.25 miles caring the Olympic Torch towards the Olympic Ceremonies in Atlanta.


Doris was a “teacher,” and she taught many children in the area math and valuable life lessons. Doris’s teaching career began as an elementary school teacher and soon became a high school math teacher and the principal at Boydton Elementary School and retired after forty years in education.


Thank you to the doctors and staff at Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center in Lynchburg for your loving care. Thank you to all who called and sent cards of encouragement. Thank you to all who cared for Doris and brought her food and looked in on her during her final months and days on this earth.


Services were held on Friday, Nov. 2, at noon at St. Matthew Baptist Church in Clarksville.

Services were entrusted to Carter's Funeral Home. 

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