Lela Mae Liggins

December 6, 1939 ~ September 19, 2020 (age 80)


“I Lived My Life”
“God is not unjust: he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” HEBREWS 6:10
Lela Mae Liggins, 80, of Portland Oregon, passed away
Friday, September 18, 2020.
She was born to the late Arthur and Mary Lewis, December 6, 1939, in Shreveport Louisiana. Lela graduated from Saint Anthony Hospital L.P.N School of Nursing in 1966.
Lela was the first woman of color elected to the local NAACP Branch and served at least three different terms as President. Lela was a co-founder of the Pocatello Free Clinic in 1970. She took many foreign students at ISU under her wing to make them feel welcome in the city of Pocatello, Idaho. She assisted with the International Student Association activities and helped with the “Step Up” program for high school students of color who were interested in attending ISU to further their education.
Lela’s work has also earned her recognition and many awards which include but are not limited to; the Idaho diligent award for the White House Conference on Families, the Kessler-Keener Award. Co–founder of the 1970 Pocatello Free Clinic, received the NAACP Women of Achievement award as well as the Outstanding Young Women of America award in 1981 and received employee of the year for the Pocatello Regional Medical Center.
She married the late Tommy Lee Liggins September 23, 1956, and moved to Pocatello in the early ‘60’s. Lela is survived by three sons, Tommy Jr. Liggins, (wife) Virginia, of Pocatello Idaho; Tony Liggins, (wife) Susan, of Costa-Mesa California, Todd Liggins, of Portland Oregon; One daughter, Tammy Liggins, Milwaukie, Oregon; 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, ex-husband Tommy Liggins Sr; Aunt Martha Erskin; son Arthur Liggins; grandsons, Tristan Liggins, and Brandon Branch.
Family and Friends, we have lost our wonderful mother, companion, adviser, friend, and mentor. We are so honored to be her children. We are grieving for the amazing relationship we have with our mother. We are grieving for our children who have known their wonderful grandmother for their short lifetime. We are grieving for the times we will miss with her. We have all suffered a huge loss. One of the most important things in Mom’s life was nursing and her family. She took great pride in serving others. Nurse’s and mom’s are special people. It takes patience and perseverance, and a love for serving others. She gave her all that others could live. Nursing and parenting is tedious and hard work but there is something that moms’ and nurses know and experience that others sometimes do not. There is a beauty and satisfaction in seeing the result of their labor grow and come to fruition. There is a peacefulness that can come over them as they care for and nurture the lives and spirits of others. In nurturing the living, our mom helped to bring beauty and peace to the world. Our mother, Lela May Liggins, made a difference in the world, and made the lives of those that she touched, taught, laughed with, laughed at, and cooked for, richer and fuller. We know without a doubt our mom being our mom, being a nurse, and being a community leader was her way of being that caring, nurturing, person she was created to be in the world
She taught us all what’s really important in life - to love, support, and to care for friends, family, and strangers. We are all better off for having known her. But even though she is gone, she has left the legacy of her love and perseverance. The way in which she touched our lives will remain, and we ask each of you to keep those memories alive by sharing them with us and with one another.
“Mom, you have given so much and asked for so little in return. Thank you, for always being there for us, for teaching us, listening to us, helping and forgiving us, loving us, and always, always paving the way for us. We will work hard to reach the standard you set.”
We feel honored and privileged being your children. You always loved us unconditionally and were the best mother anyone would wish for...
Mom, We want the world to know, you did a great job, and we wish you a safe journey. We will remember your smile, your warmth, your energy, your craziness, and your love for life, family, and friends. But also your students, colleagues, and clients, many of whom over time also became friends, we all treasure your love. You worked so very hard all your life. And, you, Lela May Ligginis, made a difference in the lives of many.
Psalms 23:1-6

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the
paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; Thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence
of mine enemies: thou anointest my head
with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life: and I will
dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Services will be held Saturday, October 3rd at 11am in the Cornelison Funeral Home, 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello. Family will receive friends one hour prior to services. Burial will follow in the Mountain View Cemetery. A live video feed will be available on the Cornelison Funeral Home Facebook page the day of service.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lela Mae Liggins, please visit our floral store.


October 3, 2020

10:00 AM to 10:50 AM
Cornelison Funeral Home
431 N. 15th Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201

October 3, 2020

11:00 AM
Cornelison Funeral Home
431 N. 15th Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201

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