Penelope Naomi Stevens was born June 28, 1950 in Philadelphia, PA to Mountrolus and Mary Stevens. Her youngest son, Jonathan Coles is waiting to receive her at heaven’s gate.
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Peachie, as she was affectionately called, was a student who excelled academically. She enjoyed learning. She moved with her family back to Virginia at an early age and was educated in Northampton Public Schools. She went on to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in History at Norfolk State University and she earned her Master’s Degree in School Law from Old Dominion University. She also attended The University of Virginia. She chose teaching as her profession, following in her grandmother’s footsteps.
She accepted Christ into her life and joined First Baptist Capeville. In 2015 she and her family joined the congregation of New Central Baptist Church, Norfolk, VA where she supported the ministry and enjoyed attending services. The principles of God’s word would be a guiding light and sustain her until God called her home on Friday, October 16, 2020.
A quiet, strong, and graceful lady, she was blessed to raise her three children as a single mother after two decades of marriage. She challenged them to achieve greatness, independence and exemplify integrity while encouraging them to have forgiving hearts and steadfast hope.
Penny, as her co-workers called her, was an exceptional educator who strived to challenge her students to seek a higher understanding of the world. She taught for 31 years in Chesapeake Public School system. She taught Politics, Geography, World and American History at Crestwood Jr High School and Western Branch Middle School. During the summer months, she taught at Indian River, Great Bridge, and Deep Creek High Schools. She touched many young lives and volunteered conducting SOL workshops and she served as a sponsor of the National Honor Society. After her father’s passing, she retired to care for her mother. Her family’s well-being was her priority, and her parents, children, grandchildren and siblings were most dear to her.
Her legacy lives on in her daughter and son-in-law: Stephanie and Clarence Richardson; son, John Coles II; grandchildren; LaShayjia, Naomi, and Mckenzie Coles, Marcus and Autumn Richardson, and Miranda Brown (TeShawn). Her loving sister Martha Marie Taylor, a loving and devoted brother Mountrolus Stevens, Jr (Pat) and caring big brother John Gulledge (Margaret). Great-grandchildren Alaysia, Alea, Alaina, and Tj. A niece, Arlet Doggett; nephews Mountrolus Stevens III, Christopher Stevens, Nathaniel Stevens, Storm Baldwin and Michael Gulledge. A sister-in-law Freda Stevens and loyal God-sister Gloria Burwell. Devoted friends Millicent Clark, Estelle Martin and Lendora Norfleet. A host of cousins and friends.
We thank God for her life!