Lena Y. Aldridge, 83, a retired longtime respected teacher and business woman, passed away Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, with her daughters by her side, and went home to be with her Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Funeral: 10 a.m. Saturday at Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Greenwood Funeral Home. A native of Mexia, Lena attended Prairie View A&M University before moving to Fort Worth, later married and began her family. With a vow to complete her college education, Lena enrolled when Texas Christian University integrated, and became one of the pioneering first African Americans to graduate with a bachelor of science in English. She taught in the Fort Worth Independent School District for 30 years, was proprietor of Elegant Hats, and president of church and professional organizations: Alpha Sigma Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., the Fort Worth Council of Reading, Lydia Circle Missionary Society, a celebrated Woman of Excellence at church, and published "Elegant Dining" in 2007. Her passion was people, whom she loved to sew and cook for; the kitchen was her sandbox, and from there throughout her creativity flowed. She opened her heart and home to people from all over the world-ever so elegant and bountiful-and kept going to church as long as she could. We are grateful for her life and love, will treasure our time with her, and hope you will find peace in the memory we share. We give her back to her Father. Lena was preceded in death by nine siblings; her parents; and husband of 32 years, Odell Aldridge. Survivors: Daughters, Beverly Adkins, Ph.D., Barbara A. Drake, Leigh Gale Drake, D.D.S.; grandson, Stephen Hicks (Suk-kyong); great-grandchildren, Summer Hicks and Kaleb Hicks; and many nieces, nephews and friends whom she adored.