On January 28, 1955, an angel descended from heaven and Leona Watts Patton was born to the late Ernest Watts, Sr. and Rosie Lee Murphy in Birmingham, Alabama. She was the third of seven children.
On Thursday, January 27, 2022, a loving earthly life ended abruptly when Leona was called to her heavenly home. The love of her live for over fifty years was by her side holding her hand. She confessed Christ as her savior at an early age. She was preceded in death by her father, Ernest Watts, Sr; mother, Rosie Lee Murphy; stepfather, David Lee Murphy; and several other relatives.
She was united in holy matrimony to her husband, Reverend William Gary Patton, on October 25, 1973 and that union lasted for forty-eight years.
Leona graduated from Tuxedo Elementary School and Ensley Magnet High, Class of 1974. After high school, she received advanced training in Child Care Development in Korea.
Teaching children was Leona’s passion, and it was marked by many years in the childcare field. She was employed as an Assistant Director at the Child Development Center in Sagamihara, Japan; a childcare provider in Tokyo, Japan; teacher at Skyline Child Care Center in Decatur, Georgia; owner and operator of Loving Hands Daycare Center in Decatur, Georgia; teacher at Raised by the Village Day Care in Birmingham, Alabama; and teacher at JCCEO Head Start in Bessemer, Alabama. She retired after a 35-year career of teaching in 2015.
She leaves to cherish: a loving and devoted husband, Reverend William Gary Patton; siblings, Ernest Watts, Jr., Christine Bembo, Linda S. Cosby, Jeanette Vinson, Douglas (Lisa) Murphy, Vera (Garry) Craig, Mary (David) Bailey, Rodell Murphy and Varice Hawkins; godchildren, Noriyah Mills, Kalie Patton, Yasmin Bennett, Everett (Red) Patton, Harold Cosby, Reggie Bembo, Carl Bennett, Devonte’ Bembo and Leantionnette Dortch; sisters-in-law, Jennifer Patton, Emily Kimbrough and Irene George; father-in-law, Lee Edwards; a host of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
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