Cover photo for Lavera Floyd's Obituary
Lavera Floyd Profile Photo

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.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lavera Floyd, please visit our flower store.


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