Sunrise, September 17, 1924—Sunset, February 23, 2023
It is with great sadness family members announce the passing of Ella Mae (Anderson) Moore of Quincy, MA. She died peacefully on February 23, 2023. She is survived by her son Byron Barnett (Kathleen) of Canton, MA; grandchildren Byron Barnett Jr., Parker Barnett, and Monique Barnett Pope; great-grandsons Casey Barnett and Grayson Barnett; and many cousins, nieces and nephews around the country.
During her 98 years, Ella was known for spreading her love, kindness and trailblazing wisdom to family, friends, and others she met along the way.
Ella grew up in Hoffman, Oklahoma, where her family lived in the “colored” section of the small, segregated town during the Great Depression and the days of the Dust Bowl.
After graduating from Grayson High School in the 1940s, Ella felt there were few opportunities for African Americans in the South. So, she courageously struck out on her own and headed North, joining the historic great migration of Black Americans in the U.S.
Ella landed in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she got a job waitressing and paid her way through nursing school. In 1954, she graduated from the Miller Hospital Nursing school, earning an LPN.
Ella went on to have a successful career at the University of Minnesota Hospitals. She purchased a home in South Minneapolis, where she raised her son as a single mother. Ella spread her kindness and generosity to friends and family. She took in relatives going through hard times and assisted friends in need.
Ella was also an activist and role model in her community. In the 1960s, she organized sex education classes at her church for teenagers in her neighborhood. She was also one of the first Black women in the neighborhood to toss out the hot comb and wear her hair in a “natural” or “afro” style, giving many of the young girls in the neighborhood the courage to do the same.
Ella retired in the 1970s, moved to her mother’s hometown of Sulphur Springs, Texas, and spent her golden years traveling with relatives and friends around the country, the Caribbean and Europe.
A long-time member of the Evening Chapel C.M.E. Church in Sulphur Springs, and before that the historic St. James A.M.E. Church in Minneapolis, Ella sang soprano in the A.M.E. church choir. She eventually moved to the Boston area and spent many wonderful years close to her son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Ella Mae Moore was preceded in passing by her parents, George and Sophia Anderson, brothers Peter “Peachy” Anderson and George Anderson, and sisters Imogene Stafford, Juanita Cunningham, Gwendolyn Knox, Wilma Crawford and Mamie Anderson.
A celebration of Ella’s life will be held in the Twin Cities later this year.