Eliza Victoria Lester DeShazo Turner
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Eliza Victoria Lester DeShazo Turner
  • June 22, 1922 - March 13, 2017
  • Virginia

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Spencer has lost one of its kindest hearts and most beautiful smiles. Eliza Victoria Lester DeShazo Turner passed away peacefully on March 13, 2017. Born June 22, 1922, she was the fourth child and only daughter of Powell Jackson Lester and Mary Bryan (Mazie) Martin Lester. Eliza was the last surviving member of her family, having lost her parents as well as her five beloved brothers: Martin Jackson Lester, George Milton Lester, Thomas Lawson Lester, John Reid Lester, and Powell Ray Lester.

Eliza was a proud graduate of Spencer-Penn School, Class of 1940, and she remained an active alumnus for the rest of her life. She also attended Radford College. She was an early supporter of the preservation of the Spencer-Penn Building, and one of her greatest joys was to see the Spencer-Penn Centre become a reality. She especially enjoyed "music night" and "chair aerobics" before health issues prevented further participation.

Eliza was a devoted lifelong member of Old Well Christian Church, which she once called her second home. Her service to the church included being Treasurer of the Cemetery Fund, working with the Christian Women's Fellowship, and teaching the popular "College & Career" Sunday School Class.

She was married to Gilbert Elmo DeShazo for 51 years until his death in 1997. Years later she was reacquainted with Elmead Turner, an old "beau". They were happily married until his death in 2003.

One of the true constants in her life was work. She worked in the medical department at DuPont. She managed the office at Bridge Street Motors. She later managed the office at Leisure Land & Timber with her brothers Tom and Milton.

Eliza lived life to the fullest. She was active in the community with the Raritan Wives and the Spencer Fair. She played bridge, sold hotdogs at the Spencer ball field, and actually played "catcher" for the women's church softball team. A direct descendant of General Joseph Martin, she joined the DAR serving first as treasurer, and twice as Regent.

She lived by quiet example. She cared deeply for others and was always willing to help. She loved to laugh, and even as the cruelty of dementia took away memory after memory, her love of life and people could not be diminished. Her strength was always present in her wink and her beautiful smile.

Eliza is survived by her children: Anne Victoria DeShazo , Maxine DeShazo Sherrill, of Rexford NY, Gilbert E. DeShazo and his wife, Lisa of Glen Allen, VA, and her grandchildren: James W. Sherrill, Jr. & his wife Meghan, of Washington, D.C., and Russell B. Sherrill of Schenectady, NY; and Erin S. DeShazo & Christopher G. DeShazo of Glen Allen, VA.

The family wishes to thank the loving in-home caregivers for their excellent attention to Liza's comfort.

The funeral service will be held at Old Well Christian Church, 110 Old Well Road, Spencer, Va. at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2017. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Old Well Christian Church Cemetery Fund, P. O. Box 163, Spencer VA 24165 or Spencer-Penn Centre P. O. Box 506, Spencer, VA 24165.