Virginia M. Fletcher Was Devoted to Public Service

Virginia M. Fletcher of Piscataway, N.J., and Oak Bluffs died on Dec. 13 after a long illness.

She was born Oct. 7, 1929, to the late Francis and Pauline (Goins) Carson. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Rutgers University, graduating magna cum laude, and a master of public administration degree from New York University. She retired from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a senior property representative at Newark International Airport.

Named East Orange Woman of the Year in 1974 by Worrall Publications for her contributions and services as manager of the East Orange Housing Authority, she proudly carried the mantle of "volunteer extraordinaire." Her active involvement in community activities was recognized with the Sojourner Truth Award, presented to her in 1998 by the Negro Business and Professional Women's Club Inc.

Mrs. Fletcher devoted her unselfish efforts to ensuring that residents of the East Orange community received needed health and housing services. She served as vice chairman of Essex Valley Healthcare Inc., vice chairman of the board of trustees and executive board of East Orange General Hospital and as chairman of the Family Health Center board.

Her long-term dedication and devotion to the welfare of others earned her awards of honor from the Salvation Army, the Black Achievers Program of the YM/YWCA, Rutgers University and the Community Council of the Oranges and Maplewood.

The organizations in which Mrs. Fletcher was active included the United Way, Salvation Army, Family Service Child Guidance Center,Youth Services Bureau, the Mayor's Council on Senior Citizens in East Orange, the Orange Orphan Society and the PTA of the East Orange School District, which she served as president. She was also an active member of her church, Trinity St. Philips Cathedral in Newark.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Arthur Jr.; her sons, Paul Eric, Arthur 3rd and Mark Otto Fletcher; her daughters in law, Kim and Joette; her grandchildren, Paul Jr., Jasmine, Joi, Monique and Kiana; her goddaughter, Adrianne L. Lockett; her mother in law, Mavis Fletcher, and a host of nieces, nephews, friends, coworkers and neighbors. She was predeceased by her stepfather, Otto Goins.

Funeral services were held Dec. 19 at Trinity St. Philips Cathedral in Newark, N.J., with interment at Rosedale Cemetery in Orange, N.J.