It is with great sadness that the family of Cora Lee Strickland-Chaffin announces her passing on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
Cora was born on November 27, 1942 to the late John Richard Sr. and Lubirdia Singleton-Richard in Memphis, Tennessee. She grew up in the city of Memphis with her parents and nine other siblings. Cora accepted Jesus Christ at an early age attending Homeland Church of God & Christ in Memphis. She was an intellectual extrovert, so she held her education at high regard, but also knew how to have lots of fun. Cora not only was acknowledged for academic excellence as an honor student, but she exceled in many activities such sewing, fishing, gardening, and golf. In high school, she played the clarinet in the school’s band and was a majorette. She graduated from Douglass High School in Memphis, Tennessee in 1960. Passionate about helping others and making a difference, Cora pursued a career in nursing. She was one of the first African American students to graduate from the nursing program at Saint Joseph Hospital (Memphis, Tennessee) in 1967. She was actually one of the nurses on duty when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was rushed to Saint Joseph Hospital after being tragically shot in Memphis, Tennessee in April of 1968. As a proud member of the NAACP and someone who was involved in several marches fighting for civil rights, that event directly affected Cora.
In 1971, Cora relocated to St. Louis, Missouri where she continued nursing while raising her three beautiful children who at the time were ages 6, 8, and 12. While in St. Louis, Cora became a member of a prestigious organization known as The Eastern Star. She later relocated to Georgia in 1985 where she continued her career as a Registered Nurse at Starcrest Nursing Home (later to become Traditions Nursing Home) in Lithonia, Georgia. Not only was Cora acknowledged for her exceptional work as a Registered Nurse, she was also an instructor where she led the teachings of several medical courses. She dedicated her life to caring for patients at Starcrest for 35 years before retiring.
In 2000, Cora proudly purchased a home in Conyers, Georgia where she created more loving memories with her adult children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She lived in this home until God called her home. Cora’s joyous and outgoing spirit is what she will be remembered for most. If good music was playing, you could be assured that Cora was up dancing, laughing, and making sure everyone around her was having a good time. Her hobbies are proof that she enjoyed life to the fullest. Known as “Lady Somebody” in “The Essence Motorcycle Club”, she always embraced adventure and has the trophies to prove it. Cora absolutely loved to travel. Some of her favorite places to travel were Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Paris, Bermuda, and Alaska. Cora was a proud member of Excel Church of Conyers, Georgia and a huge believer in the power of prayer and the acceptance of Christ.
Cora leaves behind, and will be lovingly remembered by her three children (Pauline Wiggins, Tyrone Wiggins, and Tijuana Wiggins-Davis), seven grand-children (Carlos Watson, Jericah Carter, Jocelyn Thomas, Jordyn Thomas, Jilisa Davis, Jessica Davis, and Sarron Wiggins), and nine great grand-children (Carlos Watson Jr., Quinn Cannon, Destiny Carter, Angelo Watson, Treveon Thomas, Lia Watson, Tyler Noel, Laila Noel, and Kyree Johnson), her siblings Gloria Lampkin (Detroit, Michigan), Vanessa Jeffries (Gary, Indiana), and Bernice Momon (Memphis, Tennessee) along with a host of extended family and friends. Cora also leaves behind her three god-sons (Pastor K. Francis Smith, Matt Evans, and Bill Jones) and four god-daughters (Karen Smith, Omega Peoples, Brandy Jones, and Linda Evans). Cora will also be deeply missed by her dearest lifelong friends (Callie, Kathy Lee, and Jennifer).
Cora was preceded in death by her husband (Weldon Chaffin), her siblings (Martha, Maxine, Laverne, Howard, John Jr., and Charles), and her great-granddaughter (Ariyanna Williams).
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