LOIS MAE COLEMAN ELLIS
2010 Community Service Award
Lois Mae Coleman Ellis was born in Chesterfield County, Virginia, to the late Ida Mae Branch Coleman and Edward Coleman, and is the widow of Joseph Ellis. She attended Union Branch Elementary School and George Washington Carver High School in Chesterfield County, graduating from Carver in 1954. She then went to Virginia State College, now Virginia State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters of Education degree in Elementary Education, and certification in Supervision and Administration. Upon graduation, she taught in Portsmouth, Virginia for one year. She returned to Petersburg, Virginia, where she worked for 32 years as a teacher, grade level Chairperson and Assistant Principal. One of her greatest accomplishments was being recognized as an outstanding teacher. She retired in 1992. After a year at home, she became the Tutorial Coordinator for the Upward Bound Program at Virginia State University, a federally funded program for first generation, college-bound students from low income families. She held the position for 11 years.
Her love for children and dedication to education led her to spend a part of her summer vacation in Farmville, Virginia, to help teach black students when, in1959, Prince Edward County Public Schools were closed rather than integrate.
She is an active member of Union Branch Baptist Church where she served as the Chairperson of Christian Education; implemented an after-school tutoring and summer enrichment program; taught church school for more than 20 years; and served as a Vacation Bible School teacher. Lois has also been a church Trustee, member of choir, church secretary and member of the Missionary Ministry. Presently, she is the Chairperson of the Senior Ministry, where the goals are to provide information sessions covering subjects related to senior’s health, safety, retirement and having fun. The seniors look forward to trips, to plays, concerts, other churches and shopping.
She attends the Senior Friends meetings at the Phillip’s Volunteer Fire Station and meetings of the Petersburg, Prince George Retired Teachers Group.
She is a Life Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, serving as president, secretary, treasurer, financial secretary, chairperson of several committees and advisor to an Undergraduate chapter, the State Director for Virginia and Chairperson of the Eastern Regional Executive Board. She was recognized as a Phenomenal Woman at the 75th National Celebration.
She is a former member of the Martha Mason Hill Memorial Foundation Board of Directors.