Dr. Leola Madison Travis was born May 22, 1927, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second daughter of three children born to the late Alexander Madison Sr. and Pauline Kemp Madison. She went to her heavenly home from Riverside Regional Medical Center, Newport News, Virginia, at 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018.
At an early age, she moved with her parents to Gloucester, Virginia, where she attended Woodville Elementary School and graduated from Gloucester Training School in 1944. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Education with a minor in Sociology from Hampton Institute (University), a Master of Arts in Business Administration from Marshall University, and an Ed.D. from Indiana University. The Ford, Kellogg, and Danforth Foundations supported her graduate studies.
Her early career experiences include positions with the State Department of Human Resources (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Executive Assistant to the Dean of Faculty, West Virginia State University. She retired in 1998, after 40 years of service as Professor of Business and Executive Assistant to the University President, Kentucky State University.
Imbued with a strong religious parental background, she joined the former Berea Baptist Church. With the merger of Berea Baptist Church and Union Prospect Baptist Church, she became a member of The First United Baptist Church.
Dr. Travis was a faithful member of The First United Baptist Church (TFUBC) in Gloucester, Virginia. Her church involvement was extensive serving as chairman of several ministries and committees which included: Christian Education Ministry, Annual Homecoming Committee for many years, Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Unification Project, member of the Mass Choir, Budget Committee, a strong supporter of TFUBC Outreach Ministry, Helping Hands, Missionary Ministry, Student of TFUBC Bible Study, Sunday School, and a strong advocate for the several Leadership Workshops sponsored by TFUBC.
She was married to Oneth M. Travis, the first African American City Council member in Lexington, Kentucky, before his sudden death in 1979.
Dr. Travis was a Golden Soror, Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, President of Beta Upsilon Omega Chapter, Frankfort, Kentucky, and served on numerous committees in Lambda Omega Chapter, Newport News.
She was a Platinum Member of The Links, Incorporated, served as National Secretary, and worked on several committees in the Newport News, Virginia, Chapter.
She was a Board Member of the T.C. Walker Foundation, Secretary of the National Association of Business Educators, and an active member of Hampton University Alumni Association.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Alexander Madison Jr., and sister, Lucille Madison.
She leaves to mourn her loss a devoted nephew, Alan J. Madison (Valerie) of Newport News; a host of cousins, friends, colleagues, and fellow church members.
Dr. Leola Madison Travis will be forever cherished and remembered.
A wake will be held from 7-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in TFUBC, Gloucester.
A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 17 at The First United Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Berea Cemetery.