Flora Crittenden: longtime Delegate, teacher from Newport News dies at 97

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Flora Lonette Davis Crittenden (photo: Newport News)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Longtime teachers, civil rights activist and Delegate Flora Lonette Davis Crittenden passed away on Tuesday evening.

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Crittenden, born in 1924, moved to Newport News as a young girl after spending her childhood in New York. She graduated from Huntington High School in 1941.

After graduating, she attended Virginia State University where she received her bachelor’s degree. Crittenden then went on to teach at Carver High School in Newport News for several years before her family moved out of the state.

While in Indiana she earned her Master of Science degree from Indiana University. Crittenden continued her education with post-graduate study in advanced Guidance Theory at the University of Louisville.

She later returned and worked with the Newport News public schools for over 30 years.

In 1986, she was elected to a four-year term on the Newport News City Council. She then ran for the Virginia General Assembly where she represented the 95th district from 1993 to 2004.

Crittenden was also an active member in the NAACP, Trinity Baptist Church, and numerous civic organizations.

Her children released the following statement:

“It is with mixed emotions to inform family members, friends, and community of the passing of our beloved mother, Flora Lonette Davis Crittenden, yesterday evening, November 2, 2021. Our hearts are emptied with sadness knowing we will not be with “Mama Flora” on any day of our choosing. But our hearts are abundantly filled with blessed memories of a life full of love, compassion, and service that touched so many, so often. We thank all who have provided prayers, condolences, and support during this difficult time for our entire family.”

Congressman Bobby Scott released the following statement:

“Newport News and the Commonwealth of Virginia have lost a fearless leader and public servant today with the passing of Flora Crittenden. She served our community in many ways as a teacher, guidance counselor, city councilwoman, and delegate in the Virginia General Assembly. Over the course of her extraordinary life and career, Flora’s work was always centered on bettering the lives of children through education, and her legacy lives on in all those she taught and mentored. I was honored to call her a mentor and friend, and I send my condolences to her family, friends, and the countless individuals positively impacted by her life.”

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