Leola Gilliam Cantly, 89, of Amarillo, Texas, passed away on Monday, July 29, 2019.
Mrs. Cantly was born on January 2, 1930, in Mount Pleasant, Texas, to Monroe and Lola Frankie Mackelroy Gilliam. She was a loving and faithful preacher’s wife, a ravenous reader of romance novels, and she had a love for road trips across the United States of America.
Leola and her husband, Nathaniel, grew up together, graduated from high school and were married in Kilgore, Texas. They were married for 65 years this past May.
She attended Prarie View University majoring in library sciences. After moving to Amarillo, she was one of the first African American nursing students to attend St. Anthony's Hospital's LVN nursing program. Leola went on to work for the newly opened High Plains Baptist Hospital, now BSA Healthcare System and she retired after 28 years of service from Shepherd's Crook Home Health. She spent tireless hours serving her community, providing blood pressure and other health screenings.
She was a member of North Heights Church of Christ alongside her husband for over fifty years and a lifetime member of the Amarillo Branch National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Leola was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, M. T. Gilliam, a son, Ronald Edwin Cantly, and a daughter, Chandra Kay Cantly.
She leaves to cherish her memories, her husband, Brother Nathaniel Cantly, two daughters, Nathalie Cantly and Kimberly Steward, three sons, Reginald Cantly, Stanley Cantly, and Leonard Cantly, twenty-three grandchildren, thirty-seven great-grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, and other family members and friends.
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