May 10, 1925 ~ August 3, 2021

Born in: Shawnee, Oklahoma
Resided in: Compton, Califonia

Lera Lee Stewart was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma on May 10, 1925, by her loving parents, Susie Gertrude (Dinkins) Drake and Robert Leo Drake, who later moved to Oakland, California.  Lera was the baby girl of six siblings and had plenty of energy and rhythm growing up.  She became the lead drum majorette in her high school and graduated from the 12th grade with notoriety.  It was reported by family & friends that she was so limber, that she would twirl her baton high in the sky and spin around, then lift her leg to the back of her head while catching her baton at the same time.  She was not only a true performer and entertainer, but she later became a professional jazz dancer.  She was well sought after and taught many that were inspired by her gifts and talents. She also worked as a grocery store cashier and was able to easily do math figures in her head even into her late 80’s.

As time went on, Lera married Corporal Earnest Grimsley, US Army.  However, he later died on August 13, 1950 in the Korean War. Though she experienced tragedy, she later married a Petty Officer in the Navy, Jamison Stewart on June 11, 1960, and out of their union they gave birth to a bouncing baby girl, who she named Allegria (meaning Laughter).  And laughter was Lera’s life, she was energetic and fun loving, the life of the party. The light of the room. The delight of friends and relatives with her bubbly personality, however, she would show her serious side too and when she noticed any misbehaving between nieces, nephews, cousins, or anyone else, watch out.

However, she and her husband made everyone feel at home and had the gift of hospitality that would melt anyone’s heart.  She gave to the neighborhood children repeatedly as she gave candy, treats, and everything sweet.  She welcomed neighbors, friends, and relatives in her home.  She loved to see them eating and drinking beverages and if they did not have a place to stay, she would provide them with a bed, a cot, a couch, or a palate to sleep.  The next day she would start all over again talking, laughing, and feeding her guest. Lera was so friendly to the neighbors that their family members would entrust her to babysit their own children.

Later in years, she would always talk about how her grandmother and mom took her to church when she was growing up.  And finally, she dedicated her life to the Lord.  She faithfully attended church services until she became disabled, and when her vision became dim.  However, she would pray daily for everyone she knew, especially if they were sick. and her favorite quote was, “Love yourself,” meaning take care of yourself.  To capture a picture of Lera’s giving heart, she gave to multiple charities and churches over her lifetime, such as PAL (Police Activity League) and Police Youth org., charity to the blind, and many others.

Lera was preceded in death by her husband, Jamison Stewart, four sisters, Addie Robinson, Clara Shelby, Ann Reed, and Thelma Buford, and her two brothers, Edward and William Drake.  Lera Lee Stewart leaves loving memories to her one daughter, Allegria Lee Stewart and husband, Michael Fredrick Williamson, residing in Compton, California, three grandchildren, David Aaron LaMarr Brown and wife, Erica Lynn Brown, Killeen, Texas, Tamika LaToya Brown, and  husband, Samuel Wayne Smith, Kansas City Missouri, and Shauntelle La’Trice Brown and husband, Pierre Leslie Turner, San Antonio, Texas, six great grandchildren, Syerra Freeman, Kyler and Ryleigh Brown, Emoni Smith, and Kaiyah and Aaliyah Turner. She is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.


Topic: Lera Stewart Celebration of Life
Time: Aug 28, 2021 11:00 Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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  1. candle 8Rodney Rhone for U and ur family my prayers , ur mom was special and a caring lady she will be missed

  2. candle 7Hi Allegria,
    May Our Father in Heaven comfort you and your family like only he can. May the good memories of your Mother abound and her life story continued to be passed down. Her name “Was” not Lera….Her name “IS” Lera and she is more alive than we’ll ever be on this earth❤️
    Love & Godspeed Always
    Ted (Teddy)

  3. candle 4Allegria and family. The loss of a loved one is so painful. I have been there and understand the loss and depth of pain.. You have been a wonderful loving and caring daughter. Auntie Lera lived a full life with wonderful and rich experiences. You were blessed as was she to have each other. I loved my Aunt Lera dearly and will cherish my memories and conversations. My trip to Tijuana and my photo on the donkey is my favorite memory. Love and hugs.

    Chiquita and family

  4. Allegria and family,
    Condolences to you and your entire family. My prayer is that the Grace of God is with you always.
    Sending Love from the Knight family and Wyatt families. We are always here for you. Love you ❤️

  5. candle 7Rest easy Ms Lera. I’ll always cherish the fond memories that was created living next door for over 50 years. May your spirit live on forever

  6. candle 1Allegria, Family, Friends and Neighbors, I stand with you in sorrow for the loss of our dear Sweet Lady “Lera”. She was kind and Always as Sweet as the Treats she shared with us on a regular 🙂 She will be missed. Rest in Peace Mrs. Stewart!

  7. candle 1I am so thankful to have met Mom Stewart. She blessed me in so many ways. With words of kindness and encouragement. She even sent me a beautiful card in the mail.
    Her words and kindness spoke volumes . So, appreciative and so very grateful. 💖
    Yvette Malveaux

  8. Mrs. Stewart was the 158th Street Guardian Angel. From her window seat in the kitchen, she earned those wings long before she made it to heaven. I had heard that her vision was failing. But somehow for many years she remained ‘eagle eyed’. My recollection includes something as simple as her calling the house and saying, “Tell Flora she dropped something”. I couldn’t imagine what but went outside anyway to look around the car and found it was a business card with information I needed and had meant to put in my purse. I remember telling my Mom it’s hard to believe Mrs. Stewart could see that business card fall from way across the street. But she did. There are many more memories that can be mentioned, but I have one more on the opposite end that impacted me. A few months before his death — she saw her neighbor friend’s husband hang one end of a water hose into the car window and insert the other end into the car’s tail pipe. I was told, that on that day, she left her window seat and came out into the yard – called his name – and said, “You don’t want to do that”. He removed the water hose and went into the house without saying a word. She prevented our family from what would have been an awful experience. And even though it has been a while since I last saw her, I truly believe we were blessed by her being. May she rest in peace.

  9. Watching these powerful women growing up a blessing and true privilege! Rest well , Mrs Stewart. Family my ❤️🙏are with you.

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