On the date of March 12, 1940, the Lord blessed us with the beautiful gift so named Annie May McLaughlin in Red Springs, North Carolina. She was the eldest child of James Archibald ‘BC’ McLaughlin and Arletha McNair.
During these harsh times in the South, families survived on farming and sharecropping primarily, so a large familial foundation was essential to make ends meet. Annie was intelligent and had plenty of potential, but learned very early on as a child what it meant to survive in the Jim Crow South.
Annie would eventually meet Elevert Leslie, a Korean War veteran that caught her eye and they were married in 1956 in Bennettsville, SC. Their union produced three children- Elevert Jr., Sheryl Ann and Anita Faye. Afterwards the family resided in Charlotte, NC for several years.
Aspiring for more and wanting better opportunities in her life, Annie and her children moved to Brooklyn, New York with her Uncle Daniel McNair in the latter part of 1963. Annie was always willing to work hard to provide for her children and she worked several jobs to make ends meet. Annie’s hard work paid off and she was soon able to live in her own apartment.
In 1966, Annie met Benjamin McQueen, a Fairmont, NC native on the subway while coming home from work one day. Unbeknownst to them both, they soon realized that they lived on the same block. They had a great relationship for many years, leading to the birth of their only child together– Eric Jay (Jaja D. Amani) in 1968.
No one can ever deny or doubt Annie’s love for her children and family members and New York City. She enjoyed life, had a big heart and loved people. Annie would always be there during the good times and the bad times. Annie would give you her very last crumb or the shirt off her back to a total stranger if she could. That’s how special of a Mother/person she was.
Annie was the matriarch of our family and she laid the foundational blueprint for what her progeny would aspire to, while being ambassadors of hers by default in the process. Annie was strong, a loving mother, father, caregiver, protector, role model, nurturer, humanitarian etc. You’ll get the idea!
Annie May McLaughlin-Leslie it was a pleasure and honor having you as our everything. You were truly a Super Mom, Woman, Friend and Person.
Annie is preceded in death by her daughter, Anita Faye Funchess; her grandson, Rashawn Leslie; her brothers, James Archibald McLaughlin Jr. and Charles Calvin McLaughlin.
Annie is survived by: her children, Elevert Leslie Jr. (son), Sheryl Ann Wells (daughter), and Jaja DeNucci Amani (son); her siblings, Arletha Purdie (sister), Mildred McNeill (sister), Patricia (sister), Bobbie Ann Young (sister), Sonmaynor McLaughlin (brother); her grandchildren, Shaneda Leslie, Devron Stone, Lillian Ane Leslie, Desharn Leslie, Shirella Leslie, Angelique Leslie, and Angelica Leslie; her great grandchildren, Kwesharn, Luciano, and Nathan; ex-husbands, Elevert Leslie, Sunni Obi, and Randolph Vanloo; and a host of other relatives and friends.