CECIL K.S. SUMMERVILLE
Cecil Knedell Saunders Summerville entered into eternal rest with the Lord on Saturday, October 6, 2018, after more than 77 years of earthly service. Named after her father and known by those closest to her as “Bayer,” Cecil was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Scott Summerville; her mother; Mary B. (Maybell) Saunders; her father, Cecil; and two brothers, Melvin and Benny. She leaves to cherish her memory, two sons, Charles Thomas Stewart, Jr., and Edward Scott Summerville, Jr.; and daughter, Tiajuana Stewart. She also leaves devoted granddaughters – caregiver Zhanell Summerville Anthony (Jimmy) who lovingly cared for her during her illness and Ariana Stewart; grandsons, Javaard Fisher, Austin Stewart, Ahmad Stewart, and Alex Stewart; several greatgrandchildren; two sisters, Sandra S. Walker and Marcia S. Robinson (James); two brothers, Dave A. Saunders (Theresa) and Mark R. Saunders (Belinda), and a host of other relatives and friends.
Born in October 1940, the second of seven children born to the late Cecil William and Mary Bell Saunders, Cecil was a resident of Petersburg but ultimately became a resident of Farmington Hills, Michigan, where she resided until her death. She was educated in the Petersburg Public Schools and graduated from Peabody High School in 1958. In 1974, Cecil became the first African-American female on the City of Petersburg (VA) Police Force. Her accomplishment was highlighted in the Sunday, July 7, 1974, edition of The Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper. She matriculated at Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, from which she graduated in 1991 with a degree in English. After returning to Petersburg, she taught English at Peabody Middle School until 1993. She decided to continue her education at Norfolk State University earning a Master’s degree in Social Work. Returning to Michigan, she taught high school English in the Detroit Public School System for almost 29 years before retiring in 2015.
During her childhood, Cecil was an active member of Zion Baptist Church where she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized at an early age by the Reverend R.G. Williams. In Michigan, she was an active member in the Word of Faith International Christian Center until her health declined.
Funeral services will be private.
Obituary courtesy of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, jmwilkersonsince1874.com.