Born on July 1, 1922 to the late Ernest Nobles and Elmira Ruffin-Nobles, Mrs. Thelma Lerrica Nobles-Todd, was the oldest of two children. She was born in the home of her paternal grandparents’, Jack and Lizzie Moss, right across the street from her parents’ house. Raised on a small farm in a two-generation household Mrs. Todd’s sense of service to family and community were nurtured. Within a household that was very active in the Baptist Church, Mrs. Todd was finely tuned into her African American heritage and strongly guided by elders who lived well into their eighties/nineties. Mrs. Todd attended Riderwood Public School from 1st through 5th grades and Choctaw County Training School in Lisman, Alabama from 6th through 12th grade. Mrs. Todd joined Wahalak Missionary Baptist Church at the age of 9 years old under the leadership of the late Pastor Paul Mims. In Mrs. Todd’s 8th grade year of schooling, she was fortunate enough to meet the Late Great George Washington Carver. From high school, Mrs. Todd attended college at Alabama A&M in Huntsville, where she majored and earned a degree in Home Economics.
In 1947 Mrs. Todd met the love of her life, Mr. Glover Todd. They were married on December 29, 1951, and through this union two children were born, Cowates ZeNoble Todd and Felton Warren Todd. During the time when all blacks attended church schools, Mrs. Todd completed college and went on to teach 1st thru 6th grade at Mt. Olive Church in Butler, Alabama. After Mt. Olive she taught all subjects to 7th thru 8th graders at Butler Church (North part of Butler). She also taught all subjects at the elementary, junior high and high school level. After teaching at Butler Church, Mrs. Todd taught all subjects to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Riderwood, Alabama. Mrs. Todd eventually was transferred to Choctaw County Training School, Shady Grove and Gilbertown, Alabama Schools. Mrs. Todd’s passion to educate and love of children led to her establishing a day care center in Washington DC. She dedicated her professional life to teaching until her retirement.
Mrs. Todd engaged in various roles within the community. She occupied various positions during her service to the community such as Member of the Missionary Society and Mentor of the Youth Department and Red Circle Youth Group at Wahalak Missionary Baptist Church. As a Spritual leader Mrs. Todd cultivated the concept within the youth that they can excel beyond the walls of Wahalak to a higher level of Christian education through attending other conventions, workshops and seminars. She regularly took children to the annual youth conventions at Selma University. There she exposed them to the beginning of church economics. She taught young women to become Christian ladies first, wives and then mothers. She was an exemplary role model for all young children and young women. She initiated many youths in the church to pursue undergraduate as well as graduate degrees. She also represented Wahalak at Annual Baptist Meetings.
Mrs. Todd was a beautiful proud black woman with dignity, integrity and standards. She shared her God given talents with her family, church, community and throughout the Eastern coast of the United States of America. When Mrs. Todd relocated to other cities and states she stayed within the Baptist denomination. She became a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Sarasota, Florida under Reverend John Dailey; Bethesda Baptist Church in Washington, DC under Reverend Dr. A. Michael Black and Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama under the leadership of Reverend John Cantelow.
Life during her youth was teaching in Choctaw and raising a family. She was so happy to be a contributing member of the Wahalak Missionary Baptist Church; seeing the improvements made and conjugating with church-home family and fellow Baptist Christians. Mrs. Thelma Todd was a rare human being indeed to the very end of her life. She even prepared us for her death by writing her own obituary!
After 99 years of full service to her family, her community, her people and her Lord Jesus Christ, On August 2, 2021 Mrs. Thelma Lerrica Nobles-Todd moved peacefully on to walk with God. She leaves behind her Daughter, Cowates ZeNoble Dixon, Washington, D. C.; Son, Felton Warren Todd, Butler, Alabama; Two grandchildren, Adriana Cowates Dixon and Tremone Osei Tutu Dixon, Washington, D.C.; One great-grand daughter, Zahali Sitamarhi Green, Washington, D.C.; Nephews: Eric Parks and Michael Parks; Nieces: Crystal Bass, Hay Market, Virginia and Norbertina Simmons, Mobile, Alabama; as well as a host of other cousins and dear friends.
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