Those who knew and loved Lois Vesta Coston Fletcher mourn her passing today, but their sorrow is tempered by the knowledge that “Mama Vesta” departed this life the way she lived it: at peace and with assurance of her destination.
Vesta Fletcher was 85 when she died at her residence Thursday evening, Feb. 28, her life marked by a work ethic that was unrivaled and a love and adherence to the teachings of the Bible that gave her strength over the final days of a life that was lived happily and simply. It was her love for God, her husband, her children, her family, her plants and the living of life that sustained her.
Funeral services will be held Monday, March 4, at 3 p.m. at Mathews Funeral Home, with visitation one hour prior at 2 p.m. Dr. William Sims of First Baptist Church Bemiss of Jackson, Tenn., will officiate. Interment will be held on Tuesday, March 5, at 11 a.m. at Riverview Cemetery in Valdosta.
Mrs. Fletcher was born and raised in Albany, and after a period in which she lived in Valdosta, she returned to Albany, where she lived the remainder of her life as a “silent partner” in her daughter, Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher’s restaurant, BJ’s Country Buffet. She was a member of Byne Memorial Baptist Church and was preceded in death by her husband, Roy L. Fletcher Sr.; her daughter, Robin Lois Fletcher; and her sons, Roy L. Fletcher Jr. and Tommy Jay Fletcher.
Survivors include her two daughters, Judith Ann Fletcher May of Tifton, and B.J. Fletcher of Albany; a sister, Magdalene Sagendorph of Albany; six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers Mrs. Fletcher has asked that donations be made to the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia, the American Heart Association and Samaritan’s Purse.
Friends and loved ones remember Vesta Fletcher as a quiet, strong-willed “mother of all” who loved the Bible and working in the yard with her plants. She looked on the staff at BJ’s Country Buffet and the restaurant’s customers as friends and engaged them in conversation that was both friendly and encouraging.
“Miss Vesta’s message to everyone was simple: ‘It’s going to be OK,’” Mrs. Fletcher’s Sunday school teacher, Bobby Adams said.
The family extends its thanks to the friends and loved ones who offered their care and encouragement during Mrs. Fletcher’s final days.
“I hate to mention anyone by name because I will leave someone out,” B.J. Fletcher said. “But I have to offer my thanks and blessings to my niece, Jennifer Player, for her loving care of Mama and to the professional staff with Phoebe Putney Health Care and the Phoebe Home Health Hospice team. They were such a blessing to mama.”