Laura Elizabeth Spears Malone was born on May 6, 1911, the first of five children of Arthur E. Spears and Daisy Ancrum Spears. Having lived a long, productive and joyful life, Laura was called home by the Lord on March 4, 2011.
Those who knew and loved Laura Malone appreciated her keen intellect, her candor, and her sense of humor. Laura exhibited a strong will and always held steadfast to her beliefs. Throughout her life Laura laid bare her strong faith, her devotion to family, and her infectious “Joi de Vivre”—her utter enjoyment of life.
As was the custom in the Spears family, Laura graduated in 1931 from North Carolina Central University—known at the time as N.C. College for the Colored. While there, she and her sister Louise were charter members of Alpha Chi Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. It was also at NCCU that she met William Paul Malone—football, baseball and track standout.
Laura and “Bill” were married September 15, 1934 at Seventh Street Presbyterian Church on the twenty-fifth anniversary of her parents’ wedding. On the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary, the Malones renewed their vows, again at First United Presbyterian. Several members of the original wedding party were present. The Malones were blessed with two sons, John Wesley and William Paul, Jr. Bill’s 1989 death culminated their blissful union.
Most of Laura’s career was in education, including teaching history and English at Second Ward High School, and holding several positions at John C. Smith University, retiring as Assistant Registrar. Laura was a voracious reader, played the piano beautifully, and enjoyed extensive travel with Bill.
A life-long member of First United Presbyterian Church, Laura Spears Malone served as trustee, deacon, elder, Maxwell-Hayes Sunday School class leader, and chairman of the Fellowship Hall building committee. She was active in the Rachel Circle as long as her health allowed.
Over the years Laura enjoyed the fellowship of many friends in bridge and social clubs, such as The Young at Hearts, Les Aimees, the Bluebirds, and Sans Souci Club. She was a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. As long as she was able, Laura enjoyed her affiliation with the Second Ward Alumni organization and regaled them with “naughty” jokes at gatherings.
The life and legacy of Laura Spears Malone is being celebrated by many family and friends, including one sister, Daisy Spears Stroud; two sons, William and John; grandchildren: Nicole, W.P. III, Laura, Timothy, John and Denise; great-grandchildren: Nicolai and Roielle; nieces and nephews: A.E. Spears, Michael and Nancy Lee Spears (their children Michael, Jr. and Tianna), Judy Spears, William “Martin” and Nancy Meadows (their sons, William, Jr. and Wilton), Johnette Meadows, Khalid Abdul Salaam and Yvonne Stroud (their children Raqeed , Ramadan, and Saad) , Karita and Clinton Evans (their children Kareema and Ahmed), and Julius Merrick Stroud. Extended family includes Betty Stroud , Lafell Stroud, Cordell Stroud, Patricia Stroud Dixon, Nancy Stroud, Vera Maxwell along with “daughters” and “son” Hattie Malone-Means and husband, Andre, Caryle B. Bennett, and Dr. Patricia Smith.
May all who loved Laura Spears Malone be comforted to know that her unconquerable spirit flourished until the end of her earthly life, for she smiled often, still elicited laughter, and voiced love for her family and friends as she peacefully bid her farewell.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, March 12, 2011, 1:30 p.m., First United Presbyterian Church, 406 N. College St., Charlotte, NC.