Lena Mae Wooten was born on November 15, 1927 in Wayne County, North Carolina, the only child of Edward Wooten and Lena Rose Shepard.
At the age of four, Lena moved to Brooklyn, New York where she resided for the rest of her life. She graduated from Girls' High School and played center for the St. Peter Claver girls basketball team.
On November 24, 1951, Lena married Charles James Roach. They later divorced and together had three children to whom she was a devoted mother.
Throughout her life, Lena valued education and was actively involved in the community, serving as PTA President at P.S. 167; a PTA member at George W. Wingate High School, New Utrecht High School, and Hunter College High School; and a member of the Union Street Block Association. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brooklyn College.
Lena was an avid reader until her death and enjoyed books on politics, black history, sociology, and mysteries. She once received a letter from Toni Morrison, one of her favorite authors, acknowledging a letter of appreciation Lena sent her in response to the book Love. Lena also enjoyed gardening (her favorite flowers were orchids and pink roses), the arts, and spending time with her family.
Throughout her 93 years, Lena was constantly learning and interested in new experiences. She actively worked to complete her “bucket list” and checked off one item when she attended the coronation of a prince in South Africa. She was a spiritual woman with a reputation for carrying herself with grace and dignity and being loving, honest, kind, loyal, and fair as evidenced by the many complimentary sentiments her family has received from medical staff, neighbors, and friends.
Lena quietly departed this life in her sleep, tucked in her bed. Her memory will endure, and she will tucked away in our hearts. She is survived by her three children, Pamela Jeanne Roach, Charles Edward Roach, and Mark Shepard Roach; her daughters-in-law, Joyce Ellen Roach and Tasmina Ellise Rahman; and her only grandchild, Brian Edward Roach.
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