Copley woman, 103, grateful to see first Black woman elected vice president

Krista S. Kano
Akron Beacon Journal
Leona Farris

At 103 years old, Leona Farris is thankful to be alive to see the first Black woman elected vice president of the United States, who just happens to be a sorority sister. And she's thankful that she voted absentee with ease. 

Like Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Farris is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the first historically Black Greek-lettered sorority that was founded at Howard University in 1908, just nine years before Farris was born. 

Farris' daughter, Laura Farris-Daugherty, explained that she is a Diamond AKA, meaning that she has 75 or more years as an active member. Farris now has 82 years of membership.

"She's a rarity in her sorority and is treated like royalty," Farris-Daughtery said. 

Farris, who now lives in Copley, also has been honored by the local community.

In 1987, the Leona W. Farris Scholarship was established at the University of Akron, where she taught for 20 years.

Last month, the Stow Parks and Recreation Department Board approved the renaming of Silver Springs Lodge after her. Farris is a member of the first Black family to move to Stow in 1954. 

More: Two Stow families teach a community racial acceptance

Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education also is planning to pass a resolution in her honor. 

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, kkano@thebeaconjournal.com or on Twitter: @KristaKanoABJ.