Naomia Groomes, known affectionately as ‘Madear’, was born on April 5, 1923 in Evergreen, Alabama to the late Willie and Martha (Randolph) Leaston. Naomia was the oldest girl in a family of ten children. She was always caring towards her loved ones and those in need. In fact, after the passing of her mother, she took on the responsibility of rearing some of her siblings.
During her early childhood years growing up in Evergreen, Naomia met the late Claudy James Groomes ‘Spider’, where they began a friendship that resulted in a long-lasting marriage. To this union was born nine children, seven daughters and two sons. In the early 1950’s the family moved to Reidsville, GA. and in 1962 moved to Sanford, FL. due to her husband’s work. The family finally settled in Boston, MA in January 1971 where she later became a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
When Madear’s children were young, she stayed home and prepared meals for them daily. It was usual for women to stay home with their children while their husbands worked. Madear was an exceptional wife and mother. She cared deeply for her family and family-friends. Madear did this not out of obligation, but because of who she was. She was always the first to offer help and ensure that every child who crossed her threshold was safe, healthy, and happy.
A wife, mother, sister, and aunt- she was the Matriarch of the family, recently becoming the head of six family generations. Madear was always a praying woman and could often be heard singing and praying for her family. Throughout her adult life, Madear maintained her passion for those in need. You could always depend on her for words of encouragement, a little humor, and a meal. Madear was the original “Madea” to a multitude of extended family and friends.
Madear’s family made sure she traveled and enjoyed life. A highlight of each year was the “Family Reunions” in different states where she would connect with family and old friends, and indulge in her love for cooking. She loved visiting, cooking, and baking for her family. Madear was famous for her peach cobbler and homemade biscuits. Her joy for life and indomitable spirit kept her here with us for ninety-eight years.
Madear never remarried after the death of her husband Claudy, who predeceased her by twenty-four years; as well as two daughters: Maxine Harris, Mary Helen McCray; seven brothers: Bill (Creola), Elmer, Jethro, Robert, Ulonzia (Lisa), Calvin, and Murge (Eva). She is survived by her children: Carolyn (Leon), Shirley (Johnny- d.), Martha, Louvenia (Rufus), Paul (Cazelma), James, and Victoria; forty-seven grandchildren, a host of great, great-great, great-great-great grands; and two sisters: Ceola (John- d.) and Pearl (Elder P. Odom).
To leave condolences for the family visit www.georgelopesfuneral home.com
Arrangements entrusted to George Lopes Funeral Home, 821 Cummins HWY, Mattapan, MA 02126
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