Vera Lavornia (pronounced LA VONE YAH) Lee was born in Blakely, Georgia on July 23, 1936 to the late Greagus Lee, Sr. and the late Gertrude Tucker. Her mother told her "I named you Lavornia" after a friend, but her Aunt Vera misinformed the midwife who filled out the birth record.
Lavornia was raised mostly by her father, as her parents divorced and each remarried when she and her brother, Greagus Jr. (Bubba), were young. Though her childhood was spent mostly working hard on her father's farm, she often reminisced about the fun she had running around with her brother.
Lavornia graduated from Washington High School in 1956, where she participated in the drama club and track and field. Her proudest achievement, however, was becoming the lead majorette for the marching band. Her father, while watching the parade with her uncle, commented about how high one particular girl was stepping. He didn't know that the girl he was praising was his very own daughter.
While still in high school, Lavornia joined Evergreen Church, where her father was a steward. She loved to sing and often led songs in the choir. One of her favorite music groups was Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers, because she really enjoyed the melodic harmonies of quartet-style singing.
After graduating high school, Lavornia left Blakely, GA. On July 4, 1956, she made her way to Boston, MA – via bus, traveling all by herself – to go live with her mother. A classmate and friend of hers, the late Walter King, also planned on coming to Boston. He told Lavornia he would look her up when he got there. Waiting for her arrival were one of her younger sisters, Tina, two of her younger brothers, Dee and Windell, and also some other members from her mother’s side of the family.
Walter King kept his word and did look Lavornia up, when he arrived in Boston. With him, he brought the man who would later become the love of her entire life, his older brother George. She always called George by his middle name, Edward, and would often refer to him as herEdward. The two dated for three years and on May 9, 1959 they were married by the late Reverend Rafe D. Kelly of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a member until the early 80's. In 1984, Lavornia gave her heart to Jesus Christ and joined Grace Community Church (now Grace Church of All Nations).
After George and Lavornia started their family, she stopped working. Every year, they would make the trip back to Blakely, with their two kids in tow, in order to see her daddy and her other younger siblings, Bettye, Wilma, Mary and Paul. She was the backbone of the family, taking care of everyone and everything.
There is just not enough space to list out all of the wonderful things Lavornia did for the people she loved; from having to toss her infant son out of the window, in order to save him from a fire that had started in their building; or washing all of her family’s clothes by hand in the sink for many years; to getting up extra early to take her grandchildren to school before heading to court for jury duty. She loved helping to raise her grandchildren. They are her pride and joy. One of her grandchildren affectionately gave her the nickname “Munya” – because the grandchild was trying to say “grandmother” but “Munya” is what came out. The name stuck, she loved it, and the rest is history.
Everyone who came to know Lavornia fell in love with her, including the nurses at Beth Israel Hospital and all of her caregivers.
Lavornia went home to be with The Lord on November 9, 2019 with her Edward, daughter, daughter-in-law and dear cousin/sister (Luon) by her side.
Two siblings preceded her in death – Bettye Jo Wimberly and William Windell Rivers.
She leaves to love her for life her devoted husband of 60 years George Edward King, Sr.; Children: George Edward King, Jr. (Elizabeth) and Sharon Lynette Znideric (Adam); Grandchildren: Tanisha Phoenix-King (Christopher), Latia King-Fontánez (Johnny), Tamorra Cesvette (Matthew), and George Edward King, III; Brothers: Greagus Lee, Jr of Miami ,FL; Bonnie "Dee" Rivers (Delores) of Boston ,MA; and Willie Paul Lee (Laura) of Montgomery, AL; Sisters: Tina Rivers of Colorado Springs, CO; Wilma Joyce Spencer of Blakely GA; and Mary Duncan of Montgomery, AL.; Step-brother: Roosevelt "Teddy" Tucker of Savannah, GA.; Sisters-in-law: Hilda "Pat" Rivers of Brockton MA; Reverend Betty Collier of Boston, MA; and Phillis Farley (Herman) and Patricia Bryant, both of Syracuse, NY. Brother-in-law: Charles King (Janet) of Gainesville, FL; and a host of great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.