Cecelia McLeod Boykin, the daughter of the late Fred D. McLeod and Maggie B. McLeod was born in Lumberton, North Carolina on September 26, 1932. She had one sibling, her brother, the late Fred McLeod. Though she did not have a sister, she and her first cousin Laura Powell who she grew up with was just as close as siblings and considered themselves as sisters.
Cecelia graduated from Hayswood School in 1950 and went on to further her education at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, NC. She majored in Early Childhood and earned a bachelor’s degree of Science in the education field in 1954. Cecelia landed her first teaching job in the public school system in Maxton, NC where she spent 4 years. She soon met the love of her life, Elridge Boykin in Fort Bragg, NC. Elridge popped the question and they were married in 1958. The Boykin family relocated to Kansas City, Mo. and Cecelia gained employment in the Kansas City school district in 1961. While residing in Kansas City, Cecelia taught at Ladd Elementary and Phyllis Wheatley Elementary Schools totaling 12 years.
In the midst of marriage, children and work, Cecelia purposed in her heart to take her education to the next level and earned her master’s degree in Education from A&T University, Greensboro, NC in 1973.
As an elementary school teacher, her concentrated grade levels included 1st, 2nd, 3rd and one year of 5th but her FAVORITE and where she spent the majority of her educational career was 1st grade. Cecelia nurtured and academically prepared more than 1,000 students in her 37-year tenure as a teacher.
Cecelia completed her career at Rowland Norment Elementary School and retired from Robeson County School system in 1999. After retirement she remained active by participating in a mentoring program for the Public Schools of Robeson County, volunteered with Guardian Ad Litem program for 5 years and was a volunteer at Roland Norment, assisting students in the Summer Camp Reading Program. She also volunteered in the soup kitchen where she served not only food but lots of encouragement and helped various people in her community by running errands, providing a Sunday dinner, fruit baskets or fresh vegetables from the garden. Whether you knew her for a short or long period, she was a light to all those she came in contact with and has left an imprint on the many lives she touched.
Cecelia loved her church family and was a dedicated member. She served on the Christian Education Committee, a member of the Bethany Presbyterian Women’s Organization, taught Sunday school, committed to ensuring the bulletin boards were updated to match whatever season or event was coming up, and volunteered wherever there was a need. Though she relocated to Charlotte, she never lost ties or contact with her church family.
On Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 1:16 pm, with family at her side, the God of Heaven looked down and said, “Thy Work Is Done, Thy Good and Faithful Servant”.
She leaves to cherish her memory: one daughter, Elrita Curry (Terry) of Charlotte, NC, one son, Lamar Boykin (Angela), of High Point NC, one sister (first cousin), Laura Powell of Miami Fl., five grandchildren; Asia Stinson, Demetrich Curry (Kylene), Ridge Boykin, Natasha Curry, Lance Boykin, two great-grandchildren Jayden & Justin Curry, two sister-in-law’s, Clarise McLeod of Washington D.C, Herise Miller of Kansas City, Mo. and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and dear friends.
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