Lela L Cumberbatch (Ma) was born on April 27, 1933 in Weston, St. James Barbados, West Indies. She was the second of 5 children born to Elton Hendy and Ivy Cumberbatch.
In 1969 she immigrated to the United States and resided in Roxbury MA. Her first job was at the Waldorf Restaurant in Downtown Boston as a waitress. After a short period she obtained employment at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston, where she remained employed for 5yrs in Housekeeping. While working days, she sought higher education at John Hancock, where she took night classes and achieved her High School Diploma in 1972.
In 1974 she started a second job at Woman’s Lying In (Brigham’s & Woman’s Hosp.) in the Labor and Delivery Dept. as a Nurse’s Aid. After successfully completing her certification as a Surgical Technician she went on to serve on the staff at Brigham’s and Woman’s Hospital until her retirement in 1995.
Lela was an independent, hard-working and giving person. For years she gave to many Charities and Organizations. Even after her retirement she began working Part time at the Boston Home in Dorchester. Her children and grandchildren would often laugh when she insisted on teaching them the benefits and value of saving money. Her signature quotes was” I never paid a late charge since I’ve been in America” and “I don’t owe nobody a farthing”.
In her spare time she enjoyed sewing. As a child her passion was to be a seamstress, While never having the opportunity to pursue this goal in Barbados she took advantage of taking Sewing classes at the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Boston. Although she never did sew as an occupation she was proud of the outfits and crafts that she was able to create for herself and her grandchildren. Lela loved to stay close to home and rarely socialized outside. She was very happy when guest visited and she was delighted in entertaining at home. Once you had a friend in Lela, you could say you have a friend for life. She was a straight to the point person who spoke her mind and the truth; she believed honesty was the best policy.
As a single mother Lela was fiercely dedicated to her children. Her greatest goal was to give her children and grandchildren all the things she didn’t have while growing up. About 18 months ago, she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Like the fighter Lela was she never gave up, especially for her special needs son Paul whom she loved more than life itself. She was his voice and his champion, if you offended him she would not hesitate to make her voice or presence known.
Due to her love for her family she fought longer than projected. Her dying wish was for the family to remain close and to love one another for the well-being of Paul.
We have vowed to carry on her legacy for Love of Family. We were all blessed to have her in our lives, and her love and memory will sustain us throughout the years.
In passing Lela was survived by her 3 children Paul Cumberbatch, Michelle McLean and Natalie Cumberbatch.
8 Grandchildren: Dave Cumberbatch (Washington DC), Krishante Arocho, Anjuli Arocho, Kevin McLean, Akira McLean, Jamoni Fraser, Jachai Fraser and Brittany McLean.
5 Great-grandchildren: Kailen Larkin, Ava Cumberbatch (Washington DC), Maci Cumberbatch (Washington DC), Laila and London Larkin.
2 Sisters and 1 Brother: Gloria Cumberbatch (London, England), Audrie Philips (Brooklyn NY), Neville Cumberbatch (Macon GA). (and a host of nieces and nephews).
Extended Family and Friends: Lavelle Larkin, Norman Knight, Eudora and Shirley Worrell, Robert Cyprien, McLean Family, Icilda Chambers, Estelle Merritt, Pearl Maxwell, VNA Hospice, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and all neighbors who showed support and words of encouragement during her time of need.