Lelia Parker Baxter

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

FRANKLIN – Lelia Parker Baxter, of Franklin, transitioned to receive her eternal rest and peace on Jan. 29, 2023, while resting peacefully in her granddaughter’s home in Chesapeake. On Feb. 24, 1925, she was born in Branchville to Joe Billy and Lelia Turner Parker.

Lelia Parker Baxter

Mrs. Baxter received her early education in the public schools of Southampton County and further matriculated at Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina. After receiving her bachelor’s degree she became an educator in the Southampton County Public School System where she taught for 43 years.

Lelia was a faithful member of First Baptist Church where she served on Deacon’s Ministry for many years. She was the first woman Deacon at First Baptist Church and eventually served as the chairperson of that ministry.

In addition to her parents, Lelia was preceded in death by her husband, William L. Baxter and daughter, Sandra Baxter Smith. She is survived by three sisters, Ada Cutler, Rose Galloway, Toinetta Phillips (James); four brothers, Aubrey Parker, Otis Parker (Sue), Oliver Parker (Alice), Clarence Parker (Shirley); son-in-law, Michael Smith Sr.; three grandchildren, Michael Smith Jr. (Keisha), Shannon Harris and Yale Cullins; five great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.

A public viewing will be held at Move of God Ministries, 221 South Main Street in Franklin on Friday from 2 – 6 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 4, a homegoing service will be held at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 318 Hall Street in Franklin with Dr. Steven Blunt delivering the eulogy; The Rev. Marcus Jennings is pastor. The committal and benediction will follow in Southampton Memorial Park.

Masks are required at the homegoing service. Service provided by the professional and caring staff of Wm. M. Johnson & Sons Funeral Home Inc., 224 South Main Street in Franklin. Please share your condolences with the family at wmjohnsonandsons.com.