Lela King was born in Brunswick, Georgia. She was the daughter of the late Elijah and Renelda Colvard. She had 12 siblings. After both parents were deceased, she relocated to Newport, Kentucky then to Cincinnati, Ohio to live with her Uncle Judge and Pauline Colvard.
Lela was united in holy matrimony to the late LeeRoy King and from this union were blessed with one daughter, Chondalyn (Chon) King.
Lela received her education from Douglass Elementary School, Walnut Hills High School and Withrow High School. She ran track (very fast) in grade school and during her high school years. She was also a member of the Glee Club and Minstrel Club.
After 30 years of service, Lela retired as a personal generalist at Hamilton County Job and Family Services. She had a beautiful retirement party and was honored with an official Lela King Day, granted by a county official and the Mayor of Cincinnati. After retirement, Lela’s feet continued to hit the ground running. She worked for Hoxworth Blood Center, served as a Caretaker and Home Health Aide.
At an early age, she was a member of First
Baptist Church, later becoming a loyal, loving member of Southern Missionary Baptist Church for almost 50 years. She loved her church family immensely. Lela sang in the Southern Baptist Mass Choir and was very active in several committees where her first love was working with the youth. She was affectionately called “Mama” to a few generations and will be very missed.
She was an original member of The Gospel Messengers under the leadership of the late Charles Fold and the late Donald Fairbanks. She then sang with The Donald Fairbanks Singers who were local trendsetters with their unique fashion and sound. She was a member of The Greater Cincinnati Choral Union and attended The Thomas A. Dorsey Convention yearly. She sang lead on three albums, including Southern Missionary Baptist Church.
She loved music (ALL genres). As a child, she was taught piano and tap. Lela had a long run as a stage theater actress, performing at Playhouse in the Park, The Aronoff, Showboat Majestic and many theaters across the country. She per-formed in plays under the direction of Donald Lawrence, the late Charles Holeman, and the late Liz Presley-Fields of Wimmens Theatre Group. She was also a co-founder of Second Chance Productions which served to provide local African American artists a platform to perform their gifts.
Lela also modeled, was featured on greeting cards and recorded commercial jingles that were distributed throughout several cities.
*SHE WILL FOREVER BE REMEMBERED*
Lela was loved, respected and touched the lives of so many, here and afar. Lela left us with a beautiful, outstanding legacy, and a very special love for the members of Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Dan Larkin.
To celebrate her and cherish the memories: daughter, Chondalyn King; godson, Jason Adams; four siblings, sisters – Anna Helsel (Louis) and Eleanor Colvard and two brothers – John Colvard (Adelle) and William James Jones; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and lifetime sister friends, Carolyn Ward, the late Carolyn Burston (godmother), the late Inez Armstead, Joletta Clark, and dear friend, Tony Williams.
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