Annie Bell Lester


Mrs. Annie Bell Lester, age 96, departed this life Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 at her home. She was born in Person County and a member of Hester Grove Baptist Church in Hurdle Mills, N.C.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Jones Lester, Jr.; two children: Alfonza Lester and Effie McGhee (Earl); her parents: Irvin Pettiford and Effie Johnson O’Briant; siblings: Bessie Stone, Mary Sue Johnson, Augusta Pulliam, Annie Irvin Johnson, William Isaac Pettiford, James Obie Pettiford, Richard Lewis Pettiford, Squire Roosevelt Pettiford, Frederick Gaston Pettiford and Mamie Lester.

She is survived by 12 children: Mary Ann Lester and Joan Marie Webb, both of Baltimore, Md., Jones Lester, III (Brenda) of Roxboro, Linda McMillan (Dwight) of McDonough, Ga., Elaine Lester, also of Roxboro, Donald Wesley Lester of Randallstown, Md., Barron D. Lester of Roxboro, Betty Cardella Lester and Dweller Lester (LaVerne), both of Danville, Va., Sharon Denise Lester of Roxboro, Todd Fendale Lester of Ludwigshafen, Germany and Diric Wantine Lester (Nooshin) of Fairfield, Calif.; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; two sisters: Mary Jane Torain and Willie Elizabeth Pettiford Johnson, both of Roxboro; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The funeral service will be held Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 at 1 p.m. at Hester Grove Baptist Church, 590 Wheeler Church Road, Hurdle Mills, N.C. 27541, with the Rev. Dwight Wilkerson, Pastor of Dan River Bethel Baptist Church in South Boston, Va., providing the eulogy. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. A public viewing and visitation will be Thursday at the funeral home from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. with the family present during the last hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Her body will lie in state Friday at the church from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Face masks and social distancing are required.

At other times, the family will receive friends at the home, 1213 Pointer Street, Roxboro, N.C. 27573.

Cunningham and Nelson Funeral Directors are in charge of the service of comfort for Mrs. Annie Bell Lester.

Online condolences may be expressed at


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