Leslie Dawn Sermons McCombs, age 74, died at Forest Heights Senior Living Community in Winston-Salem, NC on Thursday, March 12, 2015 surrounded by loved ones. She was born on June 21, 1940 in Lenoir County to the late Lucille and Leslie Ray Sermons.
Leslie Dawn lived her childhood in the town of Fort Barnwell, NC and graduated from Farm Life High School in Vanceboro, NC. She attended Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, NC and graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She began a 30 year career teaching in Havelock, NC and also taught in Kinston, NC, Williamsburg, VA, New Jersey and Grifton, NC. She retired from teaching in 1993.
She married the love of her life, William Morrison "Bill" McCombs III, on December 7, 1969 at the First Baptist Church of Fort Barnwell. Initially, they moved to New Jersey for Bill's career with Johnson & Johnson, but in 1973 they returned to Fort Barnwell, NC for Bill to become acting President of Leslie Dawn's father's business, L.R. Sermons General Merchandise Company. Soon after, they built their forever home there.
Leslie Dawn had many passions and interests. She especially enjoyed history, artifacts, and furniture. Shortly after retiring from teaching she was able to combine all three loves by working as a guide at Tryon Palace in New Bern, NC. She enjoyed this work very much and during her 10 years at Tryon Palace she received specialized training to lead tours which focused on the history of the mansion's furnishings.
“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” -Proverbs 12:10. Leslie Dawn will always be remembered for her love and kindness toward animals, especially cats. Many orphaned animals came to know Leslie’s home as a safe haven. She loved all God’s creatures, providing support to the most innocent and vulnerable.
Leslie Dawn also loved painting, dancing, working in her yard, trips to Williamsburg, VA, art, clothes, linens, flowers, Elvis Presley and the color red.
She is predeceased by her faithful and loving husband, William Morrison "Bill" McCombs III; two sisters, Lena Howard "Bill" Sermons Calvert and Frances Sermons Turner; nephew, Reynolds Sermons Calvert; nephew-in-law, Ronald Hugh Johnson, Jr.
She is survived by three nieces: Lida Hayes Calvert Hayes (David) of Winston-Salem, NC, Nancy Turner Hensley (Jon) of Arlington, VA, and Luci Turner Johnson (Ron) of Raleigh, NC; one nephew, William Graham Turner, Jr of Pink Hill, NC; six great nieces: Flora Trust Stopher (Gregg) and children Greyson and Trust of Atlanta, GA, Hanna Hensley of Arlington, VA, Emily Hensley of Arlington, VA, Julie Johnson Babb (Russell) and son, Charlie of Raleigh, NC, Elizabeth Turner Howard (Quinn) of Kenansville, NC, and Kristin Turner Johnson Welsh and daughter Katherine of Raleigh, NC; two great nephews: Dr. Joseph Hayes Calvert (Dr. Connie) and children Owen and Preston of Winston-Salem, NC, and Owen Calvert (Maythi) and children Reese and Reilly of Winston-Salem, NC. She is also survived by her longtime and devoted friends Ava Gray and Gladys Broadway, both of Fort Barnwell, NC.
A visitation will be held at the Asbury United Methodist Church in Cove City, NC on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm. The funeral service will be at 2:30 pm with the Reverend Matthis officiating. Burial will be in the Westview Cemetery in Kinston, NC.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of Western North Carolina, 3800 Shamrock Dr, Charlotte, NC 28215 and Hospice & Palliative Care Center, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.
Arrangements are being provided by Cotton Funeral Home in New Bern, NC. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.cottenfuneral home.com