Funeral services will be held Tuesday for Wake County school board member Zora Felton, who died unexpectedly last week.
Felton’s family will receive guests from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Mitchell Funeral Home, 7209 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, 4400 Pleasant Grove Church Rd. in Raleigh.
Felton, 65, retired as a social studies teacher from Leesville Road High School in Raleigh to run for the school board in 2013. She was elected to the District 7 seat that represents northwestern Raleigh, Morrisville and part of Cary. She ran unopposed in the Nov. 8 election.
Felton passed away Wednesday after having told her colleagues she couldn’t make Tuesday’s school board meeting because she had a headache.
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Under board policy, the school board will appoint Felton’s successor after reviewing applications from the community. The new board member will complete Felton’s term, which runs until December 2018.
Born in North Carolina in 1951, Felton’s family moved in 1964 to Wake County, where she remained for the rest of her life. She attended Raleigh public schools and graduated from Sanderson High and N.C. State University before returning to Sanderson in 1973 to teach social studies for 10 years.
She stepped away from the classroom to raise her three children, remaining active in their schools until they graduated from Leesville Road High School. She returned to teaching in 1998 at Leesville Road and retired in 2013.
“Zora Felton never lost her focus on what mattered most,” Superintendent Jim Merrill said in an email sent to schools Wednesday. “This is a difficult day for all of us. We have lost a friend and colleague who dedicated her career to our school system.”
Felton is survived by her daughters Allison Smith and Amanda Felton; a son, Adam; sisters Reba Burke and Brenda Olson; and grandchildren.
The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Felton’s memory to the Richard J. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund, murphyscholars.org.