School 21

Elizabeth "Libba" Kornegay Pate

February 21, 1930 ~ June 21, 2022 (age 92)


Elizabeth “Libba” Kornegay Pate, 92, of Fayetteville, passed away peacefully on June 21, 2022.

Born  in Goldsboro, NC on February 21, 1930, to  Leroy Kelly and Elizabeth Woodard Kornegay, Libba attended St. Mary’s College and graduated from the University of North Carolina, where she became a Tarheel fan forevermore. After finishing a master’s degree in Education at Columbia University, she moved to Fayetteville to begin her teaching career, met and married James Henry Spears, and had her only daughter, "Mimi" Mary Cordelia Spears.

They moved to Europe, living in Germany and Italy and traveling many countries. When Mimi was school age, they moved to live near Ramstein AFB so she could go to the American school and Libba taught for them. She loved sharing fond memories of living in Europe and returning with Mimi to travel.

Upon returning stateside, she taught at Westlawn Elementary while getting qualifications to be a school psychologist at the Fayetteville Academy.

Libba remarried John Claude Pate and his children, Katherine (Phil) Pate Pugh and Steve (Olga) Pate, whom were close family for the rest of her life.

In her sixties, Libba pursued a second act as a realtor at McLeam Real Estate and Coldwell Bank Advantage, a career that she enjoyed almost as much as teaching. She also loved her dogs, gardening (both in her yard and on the grounds of her church); and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, where she was a long-standing member.

She is survived by her daughter, Mimi Spears of Fayetteville, sister, Dr. Martha Kornegay Sharpless of Greensboro, nieces Dr. Liza Sharpless Bonano and Alice Sharpless McDaniel , nephews Kelly Sharpless and Dr. Ned Sharpless, and their families.

A memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 1601 Raeford Rd, Fayetteville, NC on Saturday, July 9 at 1:00.

Memorial donations may be sent to Cape Fear Botanical Gardens in Fayetteville, Lineberger Cancer Center, UNC – Chapel Hill, or The Community Foundation of Fayetteville, Elizabeth Kornegay Spears Pate fund, in lieu of flowers.

Online condolences may be left at

Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301.

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Funeral Liturgy
July 9, 2022

1:00 PM
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
1601 Raeford Rd.
Fayetteville, NC 28305

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