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Dr. James Lee Sapp

Calvary Cemetery
Old Calvary, Block 69, Lot E, Space 1
(November 14th, 1884 – August 14th, 1948)

 Dr. James Lee Sapp picture

Dr. Sapp was born in Jamestown, N.C. to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sapp. He graduated from Meharry Medical College in 1911 and began practicing medicine in Emporia, Virginia. In 1920, he relocated to Norfolk. He was a staff member of Norfolk Community Hospital, and active member of Norfolk’s African-American community. He was married to Leona Cook Sapp (1898-1979). They had a son, James Jr, and a daughter, Audrey.

Audrey was engaged to be married when Dr. Sapp fell gravely ill. She was scheduled to be married at 3:30pm on August 14th, 1948. Early that morning, Dr. Sapp realized that his life was drawing quickly towards its close. Rather than have his death delay the wedding, he requested that his daughter be married immediately. She and her husband James Hugo Madison were married at 1:30am, just 48 minutes before her father died. He is interred at Calvary with his wife.

Dying Norfolk Physician Requests Daughter Wed Before He Expires
New Journal and Guide (1921-2003); Aug 21, 1948;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003)
pg. C1

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 1600 St. Julian Ave., Norfolk, VA 23504

Official web site for more information:

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: