The obituary of Lossie B. Barnes, 99.

Lossie Marie Baker Barnes died peacefully at her residence on Aug. 26, 2011. The funeral will be held Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, at 11 a.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 106 S. Reid St. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery.

Lossie Baker was born in Wilson County on April 23, 1912. She was the fourth child of James and Mollie Williams Baker. She was a vibrant, active and youthful woman as indicated in the accompanying photograph taken at age 98. In 1929, she married Clarence W. Barnes and was widowed in 2000. They were married for 71 years. Mrs. Barnes was a member of the Book and Garden Club, Starlight Chapter 251 of the Order of Eastern Star and the C.H. Darden High School Alumni Association. She was a loyal supporter of the Frederick Douglass High School (Elm City) Band Mothers; and, in the days when resources were nonexistent, she actually made majorette uniforms for the band. She was an active supporter of the Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association’s Scholarship program, assisting high school graduates who wished to attend college. At the time of her death she was the oldest known member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Mrs. Barnes and her husband farmed for many years in Wilson County. However she is best known as one of the best, if not the best, seamstresses in Wilson County. In the late 1940s and 1950s, Mrs. Barnes made dresses for women for $2 and suits for men for $4 in order to send her oldest daughter to college. She was also an accomplished dressmaker and upholsterer, but even more exceptional were her skills in all aspects of interior design and commercial and residential drapery making. For many years she was head of the drapery department at J.C. Penney and Company and she also worked for Brewer Interiors in Rocky Mount. Lossie Baker Barnes was not a talker but rather a woman of action.

Surviving are five daughters of whom she was very proud: Marie Barnes Jones, Mollie Grace Barnes Corbin, Verona Barnes True, Jeraldene Barnes Massey and Alice Barnes Freeman (Charles); 11 grandchildren, Edwina Jones Simons (Craig), Raynite Corbin, Phillip Clarence Corbin (Deborah), Winifred Corbin-Ward (David), Aaron True, Rachel True, Noel Lossie True King (Robert), Stephanie Marie Massey, Alice Ray Massey, Charles E. Freeman (Julie), and Lossie Marie Freeman-Ross (Stephen); 10 great-grandchildren, Christopher Simons, Tiffany Simons, Javar Corbin, Justin Corbin, Taylor Marie Corbin, Gurvey Malone, Truman King, Clarence King, Neil Oliver Freeman and Nathan Freeman Ross; five nieces, Christine B. Richie, Catherine B. Slade, Ruby B. Spoons, Romain B. Harris and Mavis B. Harris; one nephew, Herbert Baker; and many other family members and friends.

Public viewing will be held Tuesday from 2 to 6 p.m. with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be directed to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 4405 Wilson, NC 27894 or to the Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 2562 Wilson, NC 27894. The funeral cortege will depart 703 Blakewood St. at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Professional and personal services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home, 805 E. Nash St. Condolences may be directed to


In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, farmer James Baker, 40, wife Mollie, 33, and children Irena, 14, Moses, 12, Rony, 10, and Lossie, 7.

Clarence Barnes, 18, of Taylors township, son of Lovett and Lucy Barnes, married Lossie Baker, 16, of Wilson, daughter of Jim and Mollie Baker, on 21 January 1929. Rev. G.A. Wood, an A.M.E. Zion minister, performed the ceremony at his residence in the presence of Frank Harrison, McKinley Barnes and Victoria Barnes.

In the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Clarence Barnes, 29; wife Lossie, 27; and children Marie, 10, Molly Gray, 9, and Virginia, 2; plus mother-in-law Molly Baker, 50.

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