Obeda Ruth Hood Lavin went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ on Feb. 24, 2014. She was born on April 22, 1929, and was raised in Richlands, with her parents and four siblings.
She is predeceased by her brothers, Dick, Robert and her sister, India.
She is survived by her husband, Andrew; her sister, Ruth and immediate family, son, Kevin and his wife Kathy and daughter Taylor, son, Keith and his wife Kelly and family Tiffany and great-granddaughter Gracie, Matthew and Katelyn, son Kenneth and daughter Natasja, and son Bryan and family Justin, Brittany and Krystal and great-grandchildren, Aiden and Tori.
Obeda was class valedictorian at Richlands High School and was voted Miss Richlands and also was the captain of the basketball team and Home Coming Queen. She was also an accomplished piano player and one of the first women accepted into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pre-pharmacy program. There, she met the love of her life, Andrew Joseph Lavin, who was from Manhattan, N.Y., and was there on the GI Bill after serving in the Navy in World War II. They got married and had their first son "Drew," Andrew Joseph Lavin Jr.
Drew tragically predeceased her at the age of sixty in 2011.
After her husband completed his PhD in physics and mathematics, they moved to the cold confines of Endicott, N.Y., where he worked for IBM and she had four more sons, Kevin, Keith, Kenneth and Bryan. There, she was a typical stay-at-home mom of the day, part nurse, chef, referee, taxi driver, cheerleader, teacher, wife and loving mom.
Obeda was one of the most selfless people who ever lived. She baked cupcakes and brownies for ice cream socials and made lemonade, hot chocolate and frozen Kool-Aid pops for the neighborhood kids.
And she never once complained of having a family of seven in a house with only one bathroom.
Annual vacations to see her family in North Carolina and to spend time at The Outer Banks were the joy of her life and cemented family relations. She and the entire family started running with the Triple Cities Runners Club and over a 40-year period, she and our dad ran in countless 5K, 10K and half-marathons.
After the kids were grown, Obeda went back to work at the histology lab at SUNY Binghamton, the same job that she had while in school at UNC. She worked there for more than 25 years.
Multitudes of post-docs have her resolute dedication to thank for their ultimate success.
She would often show up to work an hour early so that she could walk the hills behind SUNY.
When her husband fell ill with dementia, she quit her job to be by his side and remained there until two weeks ago, when she fell ill.
She even converted our dad from a lifelong Mets fan to a Yankee fan in his later years.
Our mother was truly an unassuming but a remarkably strong woman who has been referred to as a Saint by countless people.
The Lavin family wants to thank the Wilson hospital staff and doctors for exceptional care during a very difficult time.
A memorial and celebration of her life was held at Allen Memorial Funeral Home on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. The burial will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, March 10, at Onslow Memorial Park in Jacksonville.
Condolences can be left at JDNews.com.
Arrangements by Johnson Funeral Home, Richlands.