Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Leora Fowler Hill: 1951-2012, Los Angeles


Leora Fowler Hill
Death is an equalizer. For the deceased all debts, both physical and emotional, are paid in full.  Death does not discriminate. It does not care if you are famous, old, rich, poor, young, sick or healthy. And to no one's surprise, death has a way of appearing at the most inconvenient times.  But the Bible warns us. It tells us that our days are few and numbered. None of us know when that number will be called.

Contrary to what some people say, I do not believe anyone is totally prepared to go with death when they look at its face. In moments of severe illness I believe a death notice makes us realize just how much we want to live. We discover there are goals we want to achieve, adventures we want to experience, roads we want to travel. Death does not give us time to mend broken relationships or, time to say "I’m sorry" to someone we might have hurt with harsh words and accusations.
 
Death lets us know that we are privileged to live for a very short time. Compared to eternity, a mere century plus is short. Life lets us know that we are all tiny grains of sand passing through this life without much notice. If you are famous your grain of sand evolves into a small rock that leaves ripples when thrown into a pool of water. But even those small rocks dissolve, becoming grains of sand again.

On January 31, 2012 another death occurred in this family: Leora Fowler Hill, died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, where she lived. Leora, her brothers and sister came to live in Austin, Texas after the untimely death of their mother, Priscilla Fowler. They were all small children, and Freddie was still a baby.

I still remember Leora as a little girl. She had her own personality, and she was on the stubborn side. She had a way of rolling her eyes, letting you know that she was angry or that she did not like you.

After leaving Austin they returned to Texas to visit periodically. Over the years we lost contact with each other. It was quite by accident that Freddie discovered my blog. I started the blog as a tool relatives could use if they decided to search our family genealogy, beginning with relatives in Texas.  


Freddie said he was looking for a friend, keying in his name. For an unexplained reason, the name Charles H. Rector, a distant cousin in Texas, popped up. Freddie said he recognized the name, and after reading his profile, he recognized the names of  relatives that Charles left behind after his death. I couldn't believe it! I had been searching for them for years, and had given up the search when Freddie left a comment on my blog, July 10, 2011. I was overjoyed to hear from them. I talked to him, Leora, Wayne and Sandra for hours at separate times.  Life works in mysterious ways. We made contact with each other again after more than 30 years. I'm glad I got a chance to talk to Leora before she passed on. Our re-acquaintance was short lived.

Leora, 61, named after her Texas grandmother, was laid to rest Saturday, January 14, 2912. Service was held at Simpson Family Mortuary; Dr. Lovely Haynes, officiated. Below is a portion of the funeral program.


Leora Fowler Hill--1951-2012
 Obituary

Leora Hill was was born on August 7, 1951 in Lorain, Ohio to Raymond Edward Fowler, Sr. and Priscella Jane Douthit. Leora was the fourth of six children. Her parents, Raymond and Priscilla Jane Douthit Fowler, her older brother Raymond Fowler, preceded her in death. 

Leora received her early education in Lorain, Ohio. After high school she had two children, Tonii Fowler and Troy Fowler (who preceded her in death).

Leora began her career at the Ford Motor Plant and loved her job, but moved to California in 1981 to make a better life for herself and her daughter in  In 1982  she met the man that she would spend her remaining days with, her best friend, Wayne Hill. They joined in union on March 29, 1985.
 
Leora worked 23 years as a state employee with the State of California, Board of Equalization. She was a dedicated and hard worker. She was an activist in her union, SEIU Local 1000. She also served as chair of the Committee on Political Education (COPE) for Southern California. Although she earned many accolades for her union contributions, her biggest accomplishment was being honored to serve as president of local 1000's District Labor Council 723. She was a great leader for state employees in Los Angeles County. Being president was one of her proudest moments, and she was elated each time she met a politician.

Leora was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She leaves to cherish her husband of 26 years, Wayne Hill,  her daughter Tonii Brady (Deon) of Los Angeles; stepson Wayne Hill of Baltimore, MD; six grandchildren: Adia Nichole Brady, Mia Leann Brady, Deon Lamount Brady, Jr. of Los Angeles; Daemir Hill, Fairen Hill and Wayne Hill of Baltmore, MD; one great grandchild (Daemir); siblings: Sandra E. Fowler, Wayne Fowler, Freddie Fowler, Jerome Fowler, Bruce Fowler and Lynette Pryor; special nieces Carla, Tracie, Charlena, Tanasha, Priscella; and a host of nieces, nephews, loving cousins and a countless number of friends.

Below is a tribute to Leora from her sister Sandra and her daughter Nikki.


Sister

In my heart you'll live on.

I wish you sweet rest, my sister dear.
You'll live on in my heart.
Unspoken words we all left behind;
Undone things we'll never do,
No sharing thoughts we will never kn ow.

You'll live on in my heart.

The Bible says that God will open their eyes.
No suffering, sickness. Yes, not even pain. 
In Jesus we have eternal life.

You'll live on in my heart.

I love you.
Your sis, Sandra.  

My Mommy 
A tribute written by Nicki

Either you loved her or disliked her
She didn't care which one you chose
She'd handle you accordingly as all her friends know

Not a fake or a phony, she loved the ones she loved
 And you always knew where she was coming 
From because she believed in tough love
 
Never a more passionate person you'd ever see on these streets 
She was short and petite but a "Bad" piece of meat!
 
A real mover and shaker she couldn't keep her still
 Ready to unionize  the world to help workers get the best deal

She fought so many causes and touched so many lives 
Earning the respect of many even those once despised
 
Say what they want, say what they will 
One thing's for sure, your shoes will never be filled
 I love your passion, I love your drive
 I love your commitment and the sparkle in your eyes

You, my dear mommy, I will never forget
 I love you now, always and forever
On that you can bet.

Nicki
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