Leila Mae Norris McDole was born in Demopolis, Alabama on November 25, 1922. As a child, she moved to Selma Alabama and attended grammar school there. After meeting Lewis McDole (deceased), the two were married and relocated to Pensacola, Florida where they started a family. After their two children were in grade school, Leila decided it was time to complete her high school education. Since there were no adult education classes at that time, she attended high school with local teenagers. She was escorted to her senior prom by her husband. Her children proudly recall witnessing her graduation ceremony from Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida in 1951.
Furthermore, Leila worked to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse by successfully completing nursing school, a career in which she devoted over forty years to – caring for the medical needs of others. She was active in the L.P.N.A.F., Inc, Division 4 for many years. She was the first black President of this organization in 1981. Her exceptional performance in the field of nursing was acknowledged and respected by many who knew her. Leila applied her superior nursing skills in Pensacola, Florida, working at Sacred Heart Hospital. She also worked at hospitals in Miami, Mobile and Selma.
In 1959 Leila found inspiration to conquer her fear of flying and boarded her first airplane to meet her first grandchild in California. After that, she was known to board a plane, or embark on a road trip to visit loved ones, both near and far to give the love and support needed at that time. Leila met and befriended many people and pets throughout her life. It has been said that she never met a stranger. She had a nurturing and caring nature, but an intolerance for triviality.
Leila returned to Selma from Pensacola in the early 1980’s to assist her aging mother, Safronia Rascoe. After her mother departed this life, Leila elected to remain in Selma. Her serious health issues prevented her from continuing in the profession she so dearly loved. In 2012 her declining health deprived her of her independent lifestyle. At which time she relocated to Michigan where her eldest daughter, Jeanette Black and son-in-law Nathaniel Black cared for her in their home.
God called her home in Sterling Heights, Michigan on November 23, 2014 at 7:20 pm. She is deeply missed and survived by two daughters Jeanette Black of Sterling Heights, Michigan and Annette Smith of Pensacola, Florida, son-in-law Nathaniel Black, six grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.
Services will be held on December 2, 2014 in Selma, Alabama. Family hour is from 12-1:00 PM. Services start at 1:00 PM at Our Lady Queen of Peace at 309 Washington St., Selma, Alabama 36701. Condolences can be sent care of Jeanette Black, 4717 Heidi, Sterling Heights, MI 48310.