Leota Harrison Cloyed, 95, passed away peacefully in Tampa on March 5, 2021.
She was born May 14, 1925, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her childhood was spent on a farm during the depression dreaming of being a teacher. She achieved that goal and became a lifelong, devoted educator. Her first teaching job was in a country school where she taught all subjects to ten students in grades 1-8. She earned a scholarship to attend Truman State University and afterwards taught high school and junior high. While demonstrating square dancing, she met Keith Cloyed, whom she married in 1950, and they danced through life together for 67 years.
For over 30 of those years, they lived and raised a family in West Palm Beach, FL, where she taught elementary school as well as literature courses at Florida Atlantic University. After earning her master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Appalachian State University, she traded the classroom for the media center.
Leota taught piano and played the piano and organ at church. She was a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Delta Kappa Gamma, the Retired Teachers Association, and several book clubs. Leota never stopped learning – reading, travelling, attending elder hostels, playing bridge, and supporting the arts in Boone, NC, where she spent her retirement. Eight years ago, she moved to Tampa.
Leota was preceded in death by her husband, Keith Austin Cloyed; son, Gregory Keith Cloyed; parents, John and Reola Harrison; and sister, Wilma Jean Hall. Leota is survived by her daughter, Nancy Lorenzen (Tim) of Tampa, FL; grandchildren Andrew, Robert (Haley), and Harrison Lorenzen; Austin Cloyed, Cassidy (Mark) Shugar and great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Shugar.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. To honor Leota, please consider a donation to ASU’s Belk Library, P.O. Box 32014, Boone, NC 28608.