NEWPORT NEWS - Ella Pearl Bates Spratley, 91, of Newport News, Va., went home to be with the Lord on June 15, 2012.
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She was born on Jan. 6, 1921, the youngest of five children to Preston T. and Maude Randall Bates. She attended Grace Private Elementary School and graduated from Huntington High School in the class of 1938. She also attended college at Hampton Institute, now Hampton University.
After graduating from high school, Ella took a job as an aide at the hospital at the Patrick Henry Embarkation Camp in what is now the Denbigh section of Newport News. She met and then married Herbert Lee Spratley on Nov. 9, 1946. She was a faithful and dedicated member of the United House of Prayer for All People of Newport News.
Ella was a homemaker and seamstress extraordinaire. She was also a diligent community activist and political leader on the local and state levels for many years. Her involvement included membership of the Newport News Democratic Executive Committee, delegate to State Democratic Conventions, and serving as Commissioner of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority. For her devoted and longtime service to the community, she was honored by the Newport News Housing Commission with the dedication of "The Spratley House," a 50-unit apartment building for low-income senior citizens.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Herbert Spratley Sr.; a son, Marvin Spratley; granddaughter, Stacey King; her parents, and her siblings.
She is survived by six children, Princetta Stephenson, of Fort Lee, N.J., Anita Spratley Hunter (Rodney), of Richmond, Va., Herbert Spratley (Evora), of Houston, Texas, Dwight Spratley (Gloria), of Suffolk, Va., Lester Spratley (Debra), of Columbia, S.C., Janet Spratley Harrod (Chris), of Upper Marlboro, Md.; and daughter-in-law, Christine Spratley (Marvin), of Manassas, Va. In addition, she has 19 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A special thank you is extended to the staffs of Shelton on the Bay Assisted Living Retirement Community, Northampton Convalescent Center, and Parham Healthcare Center.
A viewing will begin at noon, Friday, June 22, 2012, with the family receiving friends from 6 to 7 p.m. at Cooke Bros. Funeral Chapel. A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m., June 23, at the First Church of Newport News Baptist, Newport News, with burial following at Hampton Memorial Gardens, Hampton, Va.
Professional services entrusted to Cooke Bros. Funeral Chapel of Newport News. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
Published in Daily Press from June 21 to June 22, 2012