Paula Cogdell Melvin


MOREHEAD CITY - Paula Cogdell Melvin was the second daughter born into the loving family of James and Marilyn Cogdell on December 16, 1955. She transitioned into eternal peace on Sunday, August 4, 2013, at Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, N.C.She received her early education was received from the Kinston Public School System and graduated a member of the Kinston High School Class of 1974. She continued her education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro graduating in 1978 with a BS Degree in Home Economics and earned her Exceptional Children teacher certification from East Carolina University in 1981. Paula began an extraordinary career as an educator at Caswell Center and in 1984 at Kinston High School, dedicating 34 years of her life to the instruction and development of young students. She always encouraged her students to "Set your standards high! You can do it if you believe you can." On August 14, 1982, she married her loving, devoted husband of 30 years, Stanley Melvin at her home church, Saint Augustus AME Zion Church. They made their home in Kinston at 1502 Cedar Lane with their canines, most recently, Roxie and Sheba. Always the creative person, Paula began working with the pom-pom team at Kinston High with Mrs. Wynona Epps in 1978. This work transitioned into her directing the flag team of the Kinston High School Marching Vikings with Mr. Charles Richberg in 1981. It was in this position that Paula found her greatest joy. Not only did she choreograph the flag movements, but she made the flags and managed the fundraisers such as fruit sales, chicken & fish dinner sales and arranged all the band trips and competitions. It was not unusual to find Paula frying the fish herself to help raise money for the marching band. She frequently took the children home after band practice, and provided a motherly relationship to the students' lives she touched. Paula demanded excellence from her flag teams and achieved it through many long hours of planning, writing shows and practice. She was often seen twirling her flag and developing routines in her driveway during the summer and fall seasons. She saw "her girls" win many awards and championships at various band competitions from Canada to Florida. Paula was recognized for her excellence on many occasions by regional, state and local band judges and has many plaques, trophies and proclamations adorning the walls of her home and the trophy cases at Kinston High School as evidence of her acclaim. One of her prized accomplishments includes receiving a silver medal for the Color-Guard Scholastic Regional 'A' 2011 Championship from the Atlantic Indoor Association. Paula received various forms of recognition for her outstanding performance in the classroom; She was named Lambda Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity's Educator of the Year in 1994 and 2000; Lenoir County Board of Education/ Kinston High School's 2001-2002 Teacher of the Year and the 2002 Coca-Cola Unsung Hero Award for Excellence in the Classroom to name a few. She retired from her career as an educator in 2011 only to return to teaching at Southeast Elementary School until her medical treatments took precedence over her availability to teach. Paula was baptized as an infant and nurtured at Saint Augustus AME Zion Church where she later became a faithful servant of the gospel choir and instructor/advisor of the praise team. She was a faithful volunteer to the kitchen committee and any other capacity when she could help. Her Christian principles were evidenced in her daily living and her commitment to God and her church were not surpassed. Paula was pledged into the Zeta Omicron Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1980 and was a member in good standing until her transition as an Ivy Beyond the Wall. One of her hallmark accomplishments was to choreograph the formal ball dance movements of the AKA's biennial Cotillion. She approached this challenge with the same drive and expectations as she posed to her flag teams with the same results. Her music selections and dance formations consistently brought rave reviews and accolades from parents, students and the general public. Paula loved competition from her early years as a member of the Holloway Sharks swim team to her 1983 membership as a pinochle card player of the Jr. Entre Nous Social and Civic club. She also loved her UNC Tar-heels basketball teams and rooted for them every year no matter the records. Paula loved nothing more than spending time at the beach. Whether she was riding her boogie board, jet skis or just sunbathing near her tent, she was at home in or around the ocean at Emerald Isle, N.C. She leaves behind to cherish her memories, a loving and devoted husband Stanley and canine family members Roxie and Sheba of the home. Her mother Marilyn Cogdell of Kinston, N.C.; three sisters, Jimmette Graham (George) of Kinston, N.C., Renee Foley (Chris) of Jacksonville, N.C., Derita Knox (Johnny) of Las Vagas, Nev.; nieces, Donnett Keys (Edward) of Charlotte, N.C., Alicia Hasan (Majid) of Alpharetta, Ga., Terrance Foley Jr. of the United Arab Emirates, Todd Foley (Stacy) of Las Vegas, Nev., Michelle Knox of New York, N.Y.; great-nephews, Majid Hasan III and Caleb Hasan of Alpharetta, Ga.; aunts Ernestine Wright (Linwood) of Philadelphia, Pa., Melve Johnson of Kinston, N.C., Jeannette Cogdell of Kinston, N.C.; nephews Brian Marshall of Durham, N.C., Keldrick Melvin of Greenville, N.C., Luther Wright and Sidney Melvin Jr. of California City, Calif.; nieces Stephanie Wenger of Baton Rouge, La., Yolanda Roberts of Houston, Texas, and Channing Lacey of Jacksonville, N.C.; sister-in-law, Sondra Thomas (Samuel) of Jacksonville, N.C.; brothers-in-law, Stuart Melvin (Stephanie) of Elizabethtown, Ky., Stephen Melvin (Teresa) of Aurora, Colo., Sidney Melvin (Valerie) of California City, Calif., Christopher Melvin of Austin, Texas; God-mother, Beverly Rountree of Kinston, N.C.; Goddaughters, Felicia Solomon of Kinston, N.C., Ashton Johnson of La Grange, N.C., Taheera Blount of Durham, N.C.; Godbrother Bishop W. Anthony Lawson of Kinston, N.C.; her dearest friend, Hazel Richberg and a host of loving cousins, other relatives and friends. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, August 10, at St. Augustus AME Zion Church with the Reverend Julian C. Pridgen officiating. Burial will follow at Pinelawn Memorial Garden. The wake will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, August 9, at the church with the AKA Sorority Rites at 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Paula Cogdell Melvin Scholarship at Lenoir Community College, PO Box 188, Kinston, NC 28502. Arrangements are by Albritton-Carraway Funeral Home. Sign the guest book at (Paid obituary)

Published in Free Press from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12, 2013
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