August 11, 1935 - September 09, 2022


Lela Louisa Usher

Lela Usher passed away on September 9th, 2022, peacefully in her sleep at the age of 87 after battling a long illness. We take comfort in knowing that she is with her God resting in peace. She has been a pillar of strength, faith and love for her family, her friends, and all who knew her.

Lela was preceded in death by her husband George Williman Usher in 2000. She is survived by her four children Valerie Hawks, Michael Usher, Barbara Usher, and Gregory Usher, her three grandchildren Wayne Usher, Jermaine Usher, and Kryston Munnings, and several nieces and nephews.

She was a very strong, courageous, resilient woman; a woman with a deep faith, and a commitment to serve God by being of service to others. The following quote was a favorite of hers and it summarizes the essence of who Lela was.

“Others, LORD, yes, others. Let this my motto be, Help me to live for others, that I may live like Thee.”

Lela, affectionately known as Mrs. Lela, was born on August 11th, 1935 to Miguel and Angela Romero. Her parents were expecting twins and Lela was the only one that survived the birth. Three years later, her father died of tuberculosis and 3 months after, her mother contracted the disease and died. A 17-year-old woman, who was living with her parents at the time, stepped up and committed to take care of Lela and her 2 siblings, both of whom are now deceased.

From her early days she was an academically gifted student at Holy Redeemer elementary school. This eventually led her to being offered a Mercy Scholarship to attend one of the top high schools in Belize - Saint Catherine’s Academy where she flourished. She was always top of her class and got the attention of the Sisters of Mercy who became mentors for her, took her under their wings and helped her with her school uniform and books which she was unable to afford at that time. She developed a keen self-awareness that she had to be strong and take responsibility for her life. She continued to excel in high school and was often asked to fill in for the teachers on occasion. It was here that her early love of teaching began as she began to develop her skills as a teacher.

After graduating from high school, she became a teacher at Holy Redeemer Middle School for 1 year before attending the Teachers College in Belize in 1955. She was one of the first of 2 women in the country to attend the 2-year Catholic Teachers Training program at Teachers College (around the same time she met and married her husband and started her family). She was a highly respected teacher at both Holy Redeemer Middle School in Belize City and Sacred Heart School in the Cayo District where she served for over 30 years before retiring in 1984. She loved her students and spent a lot of time mentoring many other students.

Throughout her life, Lela served the church and practiced her faith by serving on numerous church committees. She loved her church and her God. She was a leading member of the Holy Redeemer Parish Council and was actively involved in organizing fundraisers, planning the ordination of the Bishop of Belize, and on the committee for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Belize where she was honored to be one of the few people who was presented to the Pope. It was one of the highlights of her life that she got to shake the Pope’s hand. She played a major role working with the Catholic Priests in the construction of the new church in Ladyville, Belize. She served as a volunteer in the Mercy Clinic in Belize City in its service to feed and provide healthcare for the elderly poor. After she retired, she continued to be a leader in the church and school community and fearless in being the voice for others, especially the underserved.

When she was diagnosed with end stage kidney disease, she moved to California with her children in order to get access to needed health care. She loved Belize and all her many friends, former students, and numerous church leaders. She was an avid Facebook user which allowed her to keep in touch with many of her friends in Belize and around the world. She was often described as an elegant, dignified, and smart woman who championed and advocated for education for the thousands that she touched as a teacher over the years. She spent her life in the service of others and was committed to sharing the blessings she had received with everyone. She exuded resilience rooted in her belief that with God’s grace she would be able to embrace ALL challenges she faced. She loved to sing and was often asked to sing at weddings and funerals for her friends and family. She worked tirelessly, up until her later years, on various arts and crafts which she loved to give to others and loved gardening.

Mrs. Lela was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, and good friend to all. She was most proud of being a mother and considered her children to be her greatest blessing. She was creative, selfless, kind, compassionate, and loving and had a profound impact on all whom she met. She had a joyful spirit and loved to celebrate holidays and other life events. She believed in the power of prayer and said the rosary, listened to the catholic mass, and prayed many times each day. She was not afraid of death. She was the ultimate organizer and a stickler for punctuality.

On behalf of the family, we would like to thank everyone who has been part of Lela’s journey. Special thanks to all the loving caregivers and medical staff who took such gentle care of her in the last few years.

Upcoming Services

The family of Lela Usher cordially invites you to join in celebrating her life on Saturday October 8th, 2022, at 2pm. The Memorial Service will be held at:

St. Augustine Catholic Church
3999 Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton, CA 94566

We request you bring your thoughts, prayers and fondest memories of Lela. Reception to follow immediately at:

Barone’s Restaurant
475 St. John St. Pleasanton, CA 94566

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