12/09/11 — JEAN T. ALBERT

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Aug. 15,1937-Dec. 6, 2011

Jean Thomas "Tommie" Albert, 74, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, at Wayne Memorial Hospital after many years of declining health.

Jean was born Aug. 15, 1937, at her parent's home in Goldsboro, Wayne County. She was the only living daughter born to the late Zenas Lee Albert and Margaret Holloman Albert.

Jean "Tommie" attended elementary school in Florence, S.C., and Goldsboro. She loved school, and graduated from Goldsboro High School in 1955.

Jean "Tommie" was an active member of the "Goldmasquers" drama and radio clubs. She played the lead role of Rachel in Clifton Britton's "The Shepherd's Song" for three consecutive years, and enjoyed the stage.

She was the announcer for many fashion shows for Weils Department Store, held in the auditorium at Goldsboro High School.

The "Goldmasquers" competed with several drama clubs throughout the state, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Carolina Playmakers, and won the competition.

She was forever grateful to the late Clifton Britton for his encouragement to believe in her abilities to build her self-esteem and coaching to always do the right thing and make good choices.

She was taught in Goldsboro High School's choral group by Andy Griffith, prior to his writing and narrating of "What It Was Was Football," which launched the beginning of his very successful television and movie career.

Jean "Tommie" was in Handel's "Messiah" for two consecutive years while in high school.

After graduating from high school, she worked for a brief time for her late aunt, Mrs. Charles (Virginia) Darden, who owned and operated Darden's Sandwich Co. in Goldsboro, which later became Sunburst Foods Inc.

Tommie wanted more than anything to attend college and pursue her dreams of teaching English and drama; however, her older brother, Karl Vernon "Skippy" Albert, now deceased, had just graduated from Duke University in Durham and, as a result, finances were very limited for the family. So, Jean "Tommie" joined the Navy in November 1955, and following basic training in Bainbridge, Md., she attended and graduated from Naval Air Traffic Control School in Olathe, Kan.

She was assigned to Jacksonville, Fla., and advanced in rank as an air traffic controller.

A few years later, she received orders to go to Barber's Point, Hawaii.

While singing in the choir at the chapel on base in Jacksonville, Fla., she met CPO V.L. Baker, United States Navy, from Vandergrift, Pa. They married Feb. 7, 1959. She declined her orders to Hawaii, and she and her husband enjoyed 12 years of marriage and traveling.

He was struck with multiple sclerosis, and Tommie returned to Goldsboro in 1972 to raise their two sons alone.

She graduated from Wayne Community College in 1975 with an associate degree in nursing. One of her nursing instructors, the late Bessie Hendrixson, was influential in convincing her to continue her studies in nursing.

Jean "Tommie" was the first Wayne Community College's ADN graduate to receive a Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree in the advanced program at East Carolina University in Greenville in 1977.

She was a member of Sigma Theta Tau, Beta Nu Chapter and National Honor Society of Nursing.

She was employed as a nurse and nursing instructor in several hospitals and facilities throughout the state for 27 years.

She had a passion to care and help others. She lacked 15 months of service to be able to retire from the state before she became terminally ill.

Jean "Tommie" was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, and its wonderful teachings were a comfort, a blessing and a guide for her.

She was an enthusiastic genealogist and family historian. She loved the church and its members. She had a very strong testimony of her faith, which gave her great comfort throughout her life.

She was an avid reader, conversationalist and listener. She loved nature, fishing, gardening, flowers, cooking, oceans and sunsets, but most of all, her beloved sons.

She was blessed with longtime, loving and caring friends and neighbors, who will cherish her memory.

She was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans Association, Chapter 45, Goldsboro.

She is survived by her two beloved sons, Dr. Kevin Lloyd Baker and Zene Kayce Baker and wife, Tracy Lee Baker, of Los Angeles, Calif.; her younger brother, Zenas Lee Albert Jr. and sister-in-law, Glenda Painter Albert, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; another sister-in-law, Sadie Foy Albert Brooks of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; two nephews, Karl Vernon Albert Jr. of Falls Church, Va., and Steven Foy Albert of Valdese; a niece, Karen Lee Albert of Vienna, Va.; and several cousins.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her elder brother, Major Karl Vernone "Skippy" or "Tiny" Albert, United States Marine Corps; her half-brothers, Eugene Lee and Emory Saunders Albert; her elder sister, Mary Margaret Albert; her sister-in-law, Frankie Dean Taylor Albert; her maternal grandparents, Pheriba Anna Lancaster Holloman Brown, John Brown and William Henry Holloman; her paternal grandparents, Emory Saunders Albert and Elizabeth Tommie Bentley Albert; her aunts, Susan Inez Holloman Hill, Mary Naomi Holloman Hood Norton, Virginia Holloman Darden, Cathleen Aswell Holloman; and uncle, Carl Roosevelt Holloman.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, at 7 p.m. in the chapel of Seymour Funeral Home, with bishop Bryan Rouse officiating.

The family will receive friends following the service.

Kevin and Zene would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation to the caregivers and Dr. James Atkins at Southeastern Medical Oncology in Goldsboro. Also the appreciation to Dr. Charles, Dr. Duke and Dr. Mary Angeline Bethels, members of The Latter-day Saints Church and many friends and neighbors, who cared in a sincere and loving way.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that trees be planted in her memory or take your spouse out to dinner.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.


Published in Obituaries on December 9, 2011 1:50 PM