Lavera Floyd


Lavera Floyd, a remarkably loving woman whose strength, intelligence, and dedication left an indelible mark on the lives of all who knew her, was born on October 6, 1941 in Gadsden, Tennessee to Rosie Lee and Willie Lee Butler. Lavera shared three children, Loretta, Glenn Jr “Prince”, and Lisa with her late ex-husband, Glenn Floyd, Sr.

Lavera was raised with a strong sense of determination and a very competitive spirit. She graduated from Alamo High School where she was a star basketball player and an exceptional student who graduated at the age of sixteen. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee State University and Master’s Degrees from both Syracuse University and Central Michigan University. She was an active participant in the Dayton area Tennessee State University Alumni Association and a supporter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Over the course of her illustrious career, she assisted in groundbreaking research on infants as a Medical Research Chemist at Vanderbilt University. As a Chemist at Bristol Myers she was responsible for drawing the molecule for Acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol. She was also the first female Engineering Supervisor at Dupont. She later served as an Engineer Supervisor at General Motors.

Upon leaving the corporate world she began her 30 year tenure as a Federal employee at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in 1981. Over the years, she ascended the ranks, serving in vital positions such as Systems Integration Engineer and Chief in the Environmental Division. Lavera’s expertise and leadership were pivotal in implementing quality procedures and spearheading next generation environmental policies, leaving an enduring impact on generations of military pilots and personnel.

Lavera received her final promotion at WPAFB in 2004. She became Wing Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Technical Expert / Advisor and retired from this position in December 2011. In the later years of her career at WPAFB, before retiring, many military pilots reported that on a doomed flight they had to resort to her instruction manual to survive their flights. Her Air Force policies regarding how to respond in the presence of hazardous chemicals were later adopted by all Armed Forces.

Beyond her professional achievements, Lavera was a champion for civil rights, participating in impactful marches during her college years, working to pass the Equal rights Amendment in her younger years, and fighting for the promotion of minorities, women, and underrepresented groups throughout and beyond her career. She owned and proudly operated the Dayton Defender, a small minority newspaper focused on the advancement of the African-American community. As the owner of the Defender, she sponsored Futureprenuers, an annual citywide conference to introduce minority youth to business ownership. Her deep passion for justice extended beyond the newspaper and the office, as she selflessly assisted countless individuals in their personal struggles, earning the titles “Grandmother, Mother, Sister and Friend” from those she guided and supported. As a result of her vigilance and embodiment of service to others she was presented the NACCP Image Award.

On Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at the age of 81, Lavera departed this Earthly life. She was preceded in death by her granddaughters, Chelsea Floyd and Ciara Moss; grandson, Jordan Floyd; parents, Rosie Lee “Sug” and Willie Lee Butler; siblings, Curtis Butler, Dorothy Bell Radley, Mattie Sue Pruitt, Frankie Mae Blakely, Leonard Butler, Ernest “Bub” Butler, and James “Otis” Butler, Sr.; and special mentor, Jean Woodberry.

Although Lavera’s journey on this earth has come to an end, her legacy of compassion, intellect, and advocacy will be treasured and remembered throughout the lives of her family, friends, and community members. She leaves to cherish her memory, children, Loretta Floyd, Glenn “Prince” Floyd, Jr, and Lisa (Frank) Floyd- Jefferson; grandchildren, Dustin (Rachel) Harrison, Joshua Harrison, Fralisia Jefferson, Jayla Floyd, Glenn Floyd, III and Connie Bailey; great grandson, Isaac Cardenas; siblings, Alexander “Alex” Butler, Johnny “Sonny” Butler, Velma Jean (Willie) Carter, Rosie Mae Frierson, and Willie Ann Hampton; special nephew/brother, Thomas Ray (Jean) Butler; and a host of beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Visitation 11:00am and Funeral 12:00pm Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Donald Jordan Memorial Chapel, 4882 Germantown Pike – Dayton, OH 45417

Interment at Woodland Cemetery.

Lavera Floyd Cover copy

Please Click Here To View Program

Condolence Messages

  1. Lavera always had a beautiful smile. She’s smiling in Heaven. RIP my friend. LU

  2. Deepest condolences to the family. Lavera was a dear colleague; I just shared some family photos and inquired of her family which she proudly talked about
    I’ll miss texting her !
    Rest in peace
    Cynthia Bland

  3. She was always thinking of me professionally and personally!!!! I always felt her smile even through her phone calls.

  4. Rosetta Miller-Perry

    Rosetta Miller-Perry – Nashville
    September 11, 2023 at 7:32 AM

    “May the memory of Lavera Floyd bring the family comfort and peace as it has with me.”
    I will always miss my dear friend and colleague with the Black Press. “Reason” friends appear to help us with a problem, while “Season” friends bring us great joy but often for a short time; “Lifetime” friends (Lavera Floyd) are those who never stop teaching us to love and grow. I will miss our many conversations, but so glad that we conversed the evening before she passed. I had no idea that would be our last conversation. Glory Be to God!
    God bless her children and Fralisia.

  5. To Loretta, Prince and Lisa, Lavera was a joy to know from being a neighbor and a good friend for 39 years. I enjoyed our talks and her conviction was strong and she believed in the equality of all and she demonstrated that there was no “little me” or “I” can’t do it as her legacy will live on as it has for generations thus far. I am in awe as I read her many achievements that she never talked about unless you struck up the conversation (we talked plenty about WPAFB where we both worked). She will be sorely missed and I am better to have known her for the short time and to know her was to love her!

  6. Prayers for Blessings and Comfort to the Floyd Family. Recently spoke with LaVera and had no idea she would , so quickly, be departing her earthly life. I will always remember LaVera as a co-worker in science/engineering, her love of family and strife for equality and justice.

  7. She was like a second mother to me. I will miss her random I love you texts.

  8. Sheliah Butler-Howard

    I loved my auntie. She poured so much into me. No, I never spent summers with her like I now regret, but the love and bound we had lasted throughout the years and she was always there with her wisdom, listening ear and advice. I loved hearing her stories about her work, her life. She prided herself in her work and dedication and always kept it real! How amazing and exciting it was as a child to an adult to hear stories of survival in life, with corporate America from a black woman, my auntie who still kept her roots and never forgot where she came from. And by example instilled that strength to all of her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews!! Education was so important to my auntie! I thank God for her. She always told me that it’s the one thing NOBODY can take away from you, your knowledge!

  9. To Loretta, Lisa, and Prince. Your mom and I were neighbors when I lived in Huber Heights. When I met her, she offered that infectious smile and a warm heart. We were friends from that point on. She always had a joke to tell or kind words to help you to be better and to do better. She was dedicated to her beliefs, family, work, community and anyone that she could help. As I read her accomplishments in life, you would never know that she was such a powerful, smart and accomplished person because she was not one to boast. She did what she had to do with an humble spirit. LaVera will be missed for loving and kind spirit, bt allow her to live on in the works that you do to represent your mom and grandmother. With deepest condolences.

  10. My dear best friend! We met about 35 years ago through Pamela Byrd… Pam’s daughter had a baby shower.. I started humming a tune… Lavera loved her music! If you could sing she’d let you know if you had talent or not… over the last few years we both had health challenges.. she would call me all the time to check in on me.. and I’d do the same… she will be greatly missed I’ll miss our talks & text! I loved her so. Jesus take the wheel! Family I love ❤️ you all!

  11. Sending my condolences R.I.H. auntie love you dearly.

  12. My condolences to the family. Lavera was a truly special, gifted lady.

  13. I am truly sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Lavera, your mother and how she graciously adopted me as well. She was extraordinary gracious with her love and sharing wisdom. She was beyond accomplished and I am so very proud to have been blessed with the opportunity to know her and love her.
    Much love.

  14. Georganna and Richard Sinkfield

    To Loretta , Lisa, and Prince,

    As you know, your mom and I have been friends since the 60’s. We graduated from Tennessee State University with degrees in the Sciences, she in Chemistry and I in Biology.

    Later, we would work in Research at Vanderbilt University Hospital. And it was during those years that we became closer as we navigated our new world in marriage, parenting, work and society.
    And though we left Nashville, we never left our friendship and stayed in contact until her passing.

    Lavera was a “ Jewel So Rare…… A Friend “
    She also was a Brilliant Chemist and a Fighter for the needs of others.

    I am thankful that God decided to place this Rare Jewel, Lavera Floyd, in my life.

    We share your sorrow and join in the celebration of the life of your Mom and our lifelong friend.
    Love always,

    Georganna and Richard Sinkfield.

  15. Elizabeth Shute, Nashville

    My dear Lavera, I will miss you! Have known you for more than 50 years. Have talked to you frequently about everything. Not many of us left. Loretta, Lisa and Prince God be with you! Call me if you need to. Love you.
    Elizabeth, Marcus and David

  16. God bless you… thank you for All the love….rest in peace and love…LP

  17. My deepest condolences and prayers for your family….. May Goody comfort All of you at the time of loss…Lavera was a phenomenal Individual…..

  18. Fred and Anita Conway

    Our condolences to the family of Levera Butler Floyd. She was an amazing mother, grandmother, and long time personal friend. We will remember her friendly and comforting smile.

  19. Sarah Alexander/Butler

    My condolences to my dad on the lost of my Aunty hus sister. I only got to see my Aunt 2 times and she was on education. I wish I could have been closer. God got another Angel and from what I read well done to my Aunt, proud to be your niece.

  20. Loretta, Prince, and Lisa my deepest condolences to you all. I feel your pain as LaVera was a good friend to me. We spoke by phone always and I will miss our many conversations and her going down the list of all the people she wanted updates on With all her many accomplishments she left her mark on this world and for ages to come her name will be on the lips of many for good….. Take your rest LaVera I hear the word of Paul, “Well done thy good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” Love you LaVera…..

  21. Loretta, Prince, and Lisa my deepest condolences to you all. I feel your pain as LaVera was a good friend to me. We spoke by phone always and I will miss our many conversations and her going down the list of all the people she wanted updates on With all her many accomplishments she left her mark on this world and for ages to come her name will be on the lips of many for good….. Take your rest LaVera I hear the word of Paul, “Well done thy good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” Love you LaVera…..

  22. Wanda Clay-Nashville, TN

    What can I say about a lifetime friend as a little girl? You will be greatly missed as I would occasionally see an incoming phone call from Lavera Floyd. Upon answering she simply wanted an update on the well-being of myself and the entire family. She always ended the call with a request to come see her sometimes. It had been a few years since I visited and saw her, but she always maintained the same sweet demeanor.
    May you rest in the peace you always offered to me.
    Loretta, Prince, Lisa and the family may you find peace in knowing that Lavera was a dedicated friend who also”loved her neighbors as herself.” I can see her smile and hear that unique laugh as she entered heaven’s gates to see her beloved family and friends!
    Peace be with you all on behalf of Wanda Clay, Curtis Heath and Rock in Nashville, Tennessee.

Leave Your Condolence