Dorothy Geniver Corbett Yarborough, loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, devoted daughter, sister and friend and hardworking and committed co-worker, volunteer and advocate, died at AuthoraCare Collective in Burlington, NC, on Feb. 19, 2023. She lived to be 74 years young and used every second allotted to her to do good work.
Yarborough was born on Nov. 11, 1948, to Eva Louise Corbett Rogers and Clyde Joseph Wiley and was raised by her maternal grandparents, Herman and Essie Evans Corbett, who preceded her in death.
Yarborough graduated from Jordan Sellars High School in 1967. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bennett College, master’s degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. She was employed as an educator in the Burlington City School System and retired after 30 years as director of the TRiO Program at Piedmont Community College.
While she enjoyed working and being a doting mother of two children whom she cherished, Danielle and LeRonn, Yarborough spent much of her time helping make life better for others. She was a member of various groups and organizations where she freely gave her time, energy and expertise. Some of her activities included:
-Chair of the Alamance County Board of Elections.
-President of the Alamance County Committee on Civic Affairs.
-Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, where she also received the NAACP Lifetime Achievement and Community awards.
-Co-Chair of the Closing the Gap Program for the Alamance-Burlington School System.
-Former Chair of the Board of Directors for the Love Community Development Center.
-Certified Commissioner of the Burlington Housing Authority, where in 2016, she was named Housing Commissioner of the Year and Housing Commissioner of the Year for the 10-State Region.
-Former vice president and assistant secretary of the Democratic Women of Alamance County and recipient of the Star Democrat Award.
-Former vice president of the Alamance-Guilford Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women, where she received the Bethune-Height Recognition Program’s Humanitarian Award.
-Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and received the Leadership Award from the Roxboro Alumnae Chapter.
-Board member of the Healing Station.
-Member of “The Great Jordan Sellars Class of 1967.”
-Former treasurer and member of the Alamance County Human Relations Council.
-Past chairman of the NCCEOP (North Carolina Council of Educational Opportunity Programs, later changed to NC TRiO) and SAEOPP (Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity -Program Personnel).
-Past board chair of the Council for Opportunity in Education and won the SAEOPP Vision Award as COE Chair.
-Mentor for SAEOPP’s Emerging Leaders Institute.
-Board member Southeast Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
She was also recognized by the Alamance County African American Cultural Arts and History Center as a Phenomenal Woman and received the Walter O. Mason Jr. Award for the TRiO Program, the highest honor bestowed to an individual TRiO employee.
She has been a lifelong member of Ebenezer United Church of Christ, serving as a member of Missionary Circle No. 3, the Trustee Board, the Executive Board, Finance Committee and was a youth leader.
Yarborough’s mantra was “second to none,” and she brought those words to life. People said she always made everybody feel special, that she was a champion of courage, a woman of strength, an inspiration to all, believed in bringing others alone as she rose and gave people a chance when others would not.
She enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, using her talents, planning events, bowling, going out with family and friends and being a part of civic organizations so she could make a difference in the lives of people at whatever station or lot they found themselves.
While her parents, husband and siblings Martin Douglas Corbett and Ricky Odell Rogers preceded her in death, Yarborough leaves to cherish her memory her two children, Danielle (Duane) Yarborough Canady of Wesley Chapel, FL., and LeRonn (Tamika) Yarborough of Whitsett, NC; grandchildren, Keyona, Khalea and Kendal Yarborough, all of Whitsett, and Korbett and Greyson Canady of Wesley Chapel, FL; great-grandchildren Braelon and London McAllister of Whitsett; siblings, Evelyn Corbett of Burlington, Edward (Judy) Corbett of Burlington, Cheryl Garner of Snow Camp, Patricia (Richard) Robinson of Burlington, Rochelle Wiley of Philadelphia, PA, and Tony (Glenda) Wiley of Washington, DC; special niece, Tathia (Darryl) Corbett Cheeley of Whitsett, dear friend Brenda (Scott) Harris of Burlington, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, colleagues and other champions of change.
People remember Yarborough by using the words leader, visionary, advocate, role model, supportive, go-getter, dedicated, focused, problem-solver, motivator, inspirer, prudent, selfless and fearless, to name a few. But they also remember the words to this song when they think of Yarborough: “If I can help somebody, as I travel along. If I can help somebody, with a word or song. If I can help somebody, from doing wrong. No, my living shall not be in vain.”
Dorothy Geniver Corbett Yarborough, your living was not in vain.
***Note the family will welcome friends and visitors at her brother Edward's home 2315 Somers Ave. Burlington starting on February 22, 2023 at 3:00pm***
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