A Time to be Born: Zora Elizabeth Ross-Russell was born on October 4, 1945 in Huntersville, North Carolina to the late Elzie Ross, Sr. and Jennie Stinson-Ross. She was the 9th of 12 siblings. Four siblings preceded her in death.
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A Time to Learn: Zora was an honor student and Valedictorian of her graduating class at Teamer High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. She attended Metropolitan College and Ashworth University graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Zora was employed with Safeco Insurance Company for 28 years, the Easter Seals Head Start program and the Kids R Kids Early Learning Academy as a pre-school teacher.
A Time for Wisdom: Zora was an assertive, intelligent and headstrong individual. She loved making floral arrangements, designing nearly-new hats, creating wedding decorations, spending time with her grandchildren and inspiring them to achieve their highest potential.
A Time to Unite With Christ: Zora joined Saint Phillip Baptist Church in Huntersville, North Carolina at an early age. After marrying and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, she joined Saint Paul Baptist Church. A move to Atlanta led her to Zion Hill Baptist Church where she was a faithful member until her death. She loved her church family which was demonstrated through her commitment to service. She was a member of the Deaconess Ministry, the Missionary Ministry, the Zion Hill Baptist Church Chorale/Choir, the SIS Ministry, the Culinary Ministry and the Zion Hill Baptist Church Mother’s Ministry.
A Time to Love: Zora married Calvin Beckwith and to this union, her oldest son, Christopher, was born. Zora later married Velasque Russell and the two were blessed with another son, Gregg. This loving union flourished for 50 years.
A Time to Die: God, in his infinite wisdom, summoned the soul of Zora to eternal rest from her eartly toils on April 14, 2019, the birthday of her departed sister, Peggy Ross-Caldwell. All will miss Zora but know that she is in the arms of the Almighty.
A Time to Remember: Zora will be remembered by her family and friends for her humorous demeanor in any situation and her ability to them laughing. Her memory will be cherished by her husband, Velasque “Val” Russell of 50 years, two sons, Christopher Beckwith (Atlanta, Georgia), V. Gregg Russell (Jetawn) also of Atlanta, Georgia. Brothers, Samuel Houston (Nadine) of Charlotte, North Carolina, Elzie Ross, Jr. (Sarah) of Huntersville, North Carolina, Herman Ross of Pleasantville, New Jersey, Walter Ross (Virginia) of Columbus, Georgia and Raymond Ross (Dorothy) of Charlotte, North Carolina. Sisters, Peggy Ross-Caldwell (Issac) of Brooklyn, New York who preceded her in death, Mildred Brunson of Huntersville, North Carolina and Thelma Mungo of Charlotte, North Carolina. Godsons, James Pinkney of Atlanta, Georgia who preceded her in death, Charles Fannings, Raymond “Raheem” Foster, Georgio Elie and Joshua Ransom, each of Atlanta, Georgia, Frank Kilpatrick of Memphis, Tennessee, goddaughters Eneida Strippling, Giovanna Elie and Shardai Elie, each of Atlanta, Georgia, a devoted friend, Myra Carmichael, also of Atlanta, Georgia and a host if nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.