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December 16, 1936 ~ October 16, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Levonza Marie Chappelle Gatson-Heath, (86) departed this Life peacefully on the afternoon of Oct. 16th, 2023, after an extended health decline. She was surrounded by her loving Family, Friends and Caregivers during the last days of her Life. Ms. Lee, as she was affectionately known, was born on December 16th, 1936, in Winnsboro, SC as the 2nd Oldest Daughter of Mr. Willie O. and Mrs. Rosia Lee Chappelle. Having been educated in the Fairfield County School System, Levonza was a Graduate of Camp Liberty High School in Jenkinsville, SC in 1954. She furthered her Education by becoming a Licensed Cosmetologist, having Graduated from Pope Beauty School in Columbia, SC working for over two decades as a Cosmetologist. On October 17th, 1954, Levonza M. Chappelle married John D. Gatson (Deceased) and thus began a new Life as a Wife, Businesswoman and later a Mother. During their 22 years of Marriage, Levonza and John built a good Life together; building a home, while having and raising three Sons: John Fitzgerald, Dexter Maurice and Kim Donnell Gatson (Deceased). Having been a Loving and Doting Mother, Levonza made sure her Sons were involved in Education, Sports, Scouting, Church and other extracurricular Activities. In 1970, She joined Fairfield County Schools at Kelly Miller
Elementary School where she helped teach and positively impact many Students lives over the next several years as a Teacher's Aide. Having transitioned to Richland School District One, she retired in 1997 after having worked over "50 Public Years" as she would often say. From 1977 to 1992 Mrs. Levonza was married to Earl Heath who preceded her in death in 1993. Symbolized as "The Blood of Jesus" Levonza's favorite color was Red and is represented today as the Family and Friends have on Red Garments. She also was a good Cook with her Signature Dishes being Potato Salad and Banana Pudding. Levonza was a Grandmother as well as Great-Grandmother and is survived by: Tanika L. Robinson, Briana D. Gatson, Kennedi M. Gatson, De'Lani I. Gatson and Kentrell M. Gatson (Maurice) - Grandchildren with Great-Grandchildren: Azaria Robinson and Amir Spencer.
She is survived by Daughters-In-Law: Prunetta O. Gatson-(Fitzgerald), Joy R. Jackson- Gatson-(Dexter) and Traci Gatson-(Kim) including God Daughters:Marcia S. Heyward and Maria L. Heyward along with a host of Nieces, Nephews, Family and Friends. Additionally, Levonza has (4) Surviving Siblings: Josie M. Ragsdale, Myrtle D. Heyward-(Malzo), Treasure V. Prioleau-(Willie Louis) and Jasper Chappelle-(Sarah). Levonza was preceded in death by one Son- Kim D. Gatson and two Siblings: King Edward Chappelle and Roosevelt Chappelle.