Ladies’ hats are not as popular as they once were, but this lady could really wear a hat. And she truly delighted in wearing her latest chapeau to church.

Ella Lourveina Krider Kimble of Charlotte, a retired certified childcare development worker, died of cardiac arrest on Nov. 12, 2011. She was a Cabarrus County native and would have celebrated her 78th birthday December 19.

She especially loved wearing her finest hats to her beloved Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Harrisburg, where she had been a member for 42 years.

“She loved the Lord and was a very Christian-hearted lady,” said her youngest sister, Annie Wilson. “She loved to sing in the church choirs – she was a singing woman.

“I loved to see her in hats – that sister could wear a hat,” Annie Wilson continued. “I bought her a dozen hats, and her daughter, Annie Faye, bought her a hat for her surprise birthday party last year. Ella thought she was just going out to eat, but the pastor and all the deacons were there. Everything was decorated with angels, and that is what she was, an angel.”

‘She put me in a box’

Ella, along with siblings Johnny Bee, Leroy and Louise, didn’t have a carefree childhood. Ella had to take on responsibility at an early age.

“When I was six months old, she put me in a box and took me to school with her,” Annie Wilson said. “Mom had to work, and we had no babysitter. Ella was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

The sisters have always been close and lived side-by-side for years. Now, Annie Wilson can look right across the street and see her sister’s front door.

Ella had known Elliott Kimble, her husband-to-be, since childhood.

“My daddy’s sister married my mama’s brother, so they were double first cousins,” said daughter Annie Faye Broome, who is named for her aunt.

The family grew to include sons Elliott Jr., Eddie, Johnny and Shelton, and daughters Linda and Annie Faye. The clan increased with 40 grandchildren and 42 great-grands.

“She loved children, especially grandchildren,” Annie Faye said. “She always took us to church, we were never left unattended, and we never saw a hungry day. Mama could go in the food pantry and make a meal to feed everybody in the house.”

A superb dresser

“She was a songstress who could tell a story, and she left that legacy with a lot of us. She loved pretty hats and dresses,” said Annie Faye. “She was a superb dresser and he taught us that it didn’t matter what you’ve got to wear; just keep it clean.”

There was a later parting of the ways between Ella and Elliott, but they remained close. “My daddy loved her even when they were separated,” Annie Faye said. “Daddy never missed a beat paying the bills. She had AAA credit.”

Ella always thought of others. “She loved everybody and wanted them to be happy. She told her daughter, Annie Faye, “Bury me on a Saturday, so that nobody has to stay out of work and the kids won’t miss school.”

Ella’s funeral was on a Saturday, so nobody missed work and nobody missed school.

And Ella Kimble was buried – wearing her finest hat.


Editor’s note: This is our series called Lives That Matter. Written by Charlotte writer Gerry Hostetler, this weekly feature will profile individuals, recently deceased, who had a positive impact on those around them. Email

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