Regina Frances Martin Laws, 91, entered into eternal rest on October 12, 2020.
Born on February 24, 1929, to the late John E. Martin Sr. and the late Georgianna Helton Martin Cashwell, she was the youngest of their eight children.
Mrs. Laws was a lifelong resident of Covington, VA, spending the early part of her adult life as a caregiver to her mother and other family members. After the death of her mother, Regina joined the staff of Covington City Public Schools as a part-time employee on the cafeteria and custodial staffs in 1971. She was hired as a full-time member of the custodial team at Jeter-Watson Elementary School in 1974. She retired on July 1, 1992.
Regina was lifelong member of the Pine Street Baptist Church. She was baptized by Rev. Thurmond “Pete” Moore and joined the church as a teen in 1944. Throughout her life she was active in several clubs and organizations in the church including the Willing Workers Club and the Chorus for over seventy years, the Deaconess Board, the Church Financial Collection Counting Committee, the Combined Choirs, the Loyal Daughters Club, the Busy Bee Club, Federated Club, and Circle Number Three. She was active in local organizations including the Covington Senior Center, the former Covington Community Mass Choir, and served as treasurer of the Watson Swinging Forty’s Reunion Club. She also served as a poll worker for local, state, and national elections, and as a Meals on Wheels volunteer.
Regina graduated from the former Watson High School in 1948. She married James Edward “Sonny” Laws Sr., on December 27, 1958. He preceded her in death on December 9, 1994, two weeks before their 36th wedding anniversary. She was also preceded in death by each of her siblings and their spouses. In birth order they are: Theophilus Martin (Rosetta), Izetta Martin (died in infancy), Pauline Martin Williams Wright (Henry and John), Wilmington T. Martin (Oras), John E. Martin Jr. (Geraldine), William R. Martin (Evelyn), and Hurley Martin (Mary). She was preceded in death by her stepfather, Herbert Cashwell and by a devoted cousin, Ivory J. Beverly, and her son, Andre T. Beverly, whom Regina helped raise.
In the 1940s ’50s, and ’60s, Regina was especially close with a tight-knit group of cousins, all of whom preceded her in death. They were: Vivian McDaniel, Mary Loving Helton-Halsey, Kathleen Helton, Fannie Helton-Wright, and Ivory Beverly.
Regina is survived by one son, Dr. James “Eddie” Laws Jr., of Washington, DC; a devoted cousin, Betty Jean Meadows of Minneapolis, MN; and multiple generations of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She is also survived by in-laws: Freddie Laws (Charlotte), Los Angeles, CA; Charles Laws (Diane), Covington, VA; Doris Teixeira (Nelson), Tucson, AZ; and aunt in-law, Dr. Bernice Harper, Rockville, MD.
Regina will be remembered for the unconditional love she gave to all, her devotion to her religion and church, an extensive collection of church hats, her fondness for flower gardening, her cooking skills, and her affection for animals, particularly cats.
The family will receive friends at the Pine Street Baptist Church at 347 East Pine Street from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, October 23.
The funeral service will be held at the church at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 24.
Masks and social distancing will be required for both services. Interment will be at the Cedar Hill Cemetery.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.