Leeila Margaret Thomas Fender

WEAVERVILLE – Leeila Margaret Thomas Fender, age 89, went home to be with Jesus, Monday, March 29, 2021.


Mrs. Fender was born June 19, 1931 in Yancey County, NC to the late Rev. Arthur Thomas and Pauline Woody Thomas.  Leeila was the eldest of her eight siblings. Faith and family were the things most important to Leeila.  After her husband, Erskine passed away in 1965, she became a widow at the age of 33.  With four children to raise alone, she learned how to drive a car and got her first job outside of the home to provide for her family.  She retired from A-B Emblem in 1995. Then worked part time at Rose’s Department Store until 2008.


Mrs. Fender was a devout Christian woman, strong in her faith.  She was a faithful member of Clark’s Chapel United Methodist Church for over fifty years.  There she served on several committees, was an active member in the Women’s Club, prepared countless dishes for potluck dinners, provided Communion provisions and did the weekly cleaning duties for the church.  She was also an avid gardener who enjoyed canning the vegetables she grew, working in her garden and tending to her flowers.  She very much enjoyed watching all the birds that would visit her bird feeders. 

In addition to her parents and husband, Leeila was preceded in death by her sister, Elvina Robinson; sons, Doyle and Darrell Fender; daughter, Sheree Frisbee; and great grandchildren, Caleb and Annemarie Fender.


Those left here to cherish her sweet memory are her daughter, Victoria Fender; son, Danny Fender (Sheila); daughter-in-law, Elaine Fender; brothers, Billy and Denzil Thomas; sisters, Patsy Hughes (Bud), Tony Ann Souther, Vickie Barnwell (Dale) and Cynthia Buckner (VC) and all their children; grandchildren, Cinnamon Rockett (Kenny), Jessica Fender (Derrick), Paul Fender (Cheryl), Joseph and Samuel Frisbee; great grandchildren, David, Andrea, Mattie, Arabella, Wyatt, Scarlette, Jacob and Jameson.


Her funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, 2021 in the Chapel of West Funeral Home, 17 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville. Leeila’s brothers, Denzil and Billy Thomas, will officiate. Burial will follow in Clark’s Chapel Cemetery.


For those who wish to pay their respects, Mrs. Fender will be available for viewing between 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at the funeral home.  The family will not be present.


The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. 


Per the NC Governor, masks are required. Those who choose, may listen to the service on their car radio by tuning into FM 87.7, while in the parking lot of the funeral home. 


Flowers are welcome or memorial contributions may be made to Make a Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or Meals on Wheels-Asheville.


For those who desire, condolences may be offered to the family under Mrs. Fender’s obituary at www.WestFamilyFuneralServices.com.


The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Nikki Moore, Teresa Burry and Sabra Coxe for the wonderful care they provided for Leeila.


“Well done thy good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:23.