Eloise Nelson Cobb Leaks was born on August 22, 1930, in Maysville, Kentucky. She was the third of four children born to Willis Franklin and Elvena Black Nelson. She gained her heavenly wings and went home to be with the Lord on December 12, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.
Eloise began her education with her teacher Miss Ida Ross in Maysville, Kentucky at the age of 6. Miss Ross taught all the “colored” children from grades one through eight in a one room schoolhouse. In the late 1930’s, Eloise moved with her family to Cincinnati, Ohio. When the Cincinnati Public Schools wanted to put her back a grade because of her previous education, her mother told them to test her first. Eloise and her siblings all passed with flying colors and were placed in their rightful grades. Eloise completed her education in the Cincinnati public schools, graduating from Woodward High School in 1948. Later in her life she obtained her registered nursing certification at the Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing and pursued advance degree work at the College of Mount St. Joseph.
In 1940, she accepted Christ and became a member of the historic First Baptist Church of Cumminsville where she remained an active and involved member until her passing. She served her church loyally and faithfully for her entire life. She was a member of the Willing Workers Ministry, the Nurses Guild, and the Board of Trustees where she continued to serve in an exemplary manner as the board chair until she passed.
In 1948, Eloise married Paul McKinley Cobb. Their union resulted in four children, Bonita Ruth, Stephanie Carroll, Robyn Elise, and William Randal. Later in her life she married Louis Leaks and became stepmother to Gina, Brent, and Eric. Family was THE most important aspect of Eloise’s life. She was the matriarch of five direct generations and several extended groups of cousins, nieces, and nephews. She loved big family dinners, family vacations and most of all attending the activities of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren such as birthday and anniversary parties, graduations, sporting events, plays, musicals and other artistic and political performances. She was quite a political activist, even in her aging years, keeping up on all the aspects of local, state, regional and national politics. Never missing an opportunity to vote or to express her opinions, especially to someone with an opposing view. Eloise was an avid sports enthusiast. She enjoyed all sports and kept up with them on her cable networks. She enjoyed talking to her grands and great grands about sports and could also hold her own with “trash talk”.
Eloise was a caregiver at heart from the time she was a small child helping her mother take care of her grandmother and throughout her professional career until she was no longer physically able. She worked in the medical field at several facilities in the Southern Ohio area such as Cincinnati General Hospital (now University Hospital), the Pauline Warfield Lewis Center (now Summitt Behavioral Center) and several nursing home facilities. Her ministry of health and human services has touched the lives of many throughout her long and distinguished career.
Eloise is preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, William Nelson, Betsy Nelson Casey, and Charles Franklin Nelson; her husbands, Paul and Louis; her son, William Randal Cobb; two sons in law, Dr. Henry J. Durand and Ernest Robinson; her stepson, Brent Leaks; one grandchild and three great grandchildren. She leaves to mourn her passing her three daughters Bonita Durand of Buffalo, New York, Stephanie Robinson, and Robyn Bennie (Harold) of Cincinnati, Ohio; her stepson Eric Leaks and stepdaughter Gina Marr also of Cincinnati; and a daughter in law, Robbin Clem Cobb of Dayton, Ohio, as well as 12 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 23 great-great grandchildren.
Eloise Nelson Cobb Leaks lived a full, productive, and rich life dedicated to family, church, coworkers, and friends. She leaves an indelible legacy and will long be remembered by those who knew her. She is now resting well in His arms. Her work is done.