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Lela B. Mosley

January 9, 1929  –  December 1, 2009



Lela stood tall among 5th City leaders – the first human development project of the ICA in Chicago.  Here is her funeral service with photos.


Lela B. Mosley was born January 8, 1929 to Hollie and Annie (Lewis) Brady in Jackson, MS. Lela was the second of three children. She was raised in a Christian home and attended Rocky Hill M.B. Church in Jackson, MS.  Lela remained in Jackson, until age fifteen when she moved to Chicago, lL, to live with her Aunt Lela Hayes.


Lela (Brady) and Dennis C. Mosley were united in marriage on November 30, 1949. From this union five children were born: one daughter, Karen M. Barnes, and four sons, Dennis C. Mosley III, Carl A. Mosley, Manuel A Mosley and Stephen W. Mosley.


Lela graduated from John Marshall High School and MMCI Walker College of Cosmetology. She later received a degree from Chicago State University in Child Development and an A.A. degree from the Central YMCA College; she then completed studies in Psychology and Philosophy at Roosevelt University.


Lela worked in beauty culture until she became a wife and mother. When her five children were all in school she began her new career in community service. After spending some time as a preschool instructor, Lela worked with Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), an organization that targeted social and education initiatives in underprivileged communities in India, Jamaica, Korea, Guatemala, England, Nigeria and in many U.S. cities. She was one of the original founders and Executive Director of Fifth City Chicago Reformulation Corporation, which includes Fifth City Community Center and Fifth City Preschool.


Lela’s community outreach extended to the support of housing redevelopment, business careers programs and adult education programs. Her memberships included Preschool Board of Director, GNSC Advisory Council, CDBG Advisory Council, Bethany Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, and the First Baptist Congregational Church where she was a member.


Lela resigned from her twenty-three year Executive Directorship position at Fifth City in November 1991 after serving twenty-eight years in Fifth City. She attributed her success to her steadfast love and commitment to God; her parents; her children; the ICA’s staff and board members; and to every citizen of the Westside Community.


Lela leaves to cherish her memory a devoted daughter, Karen M Barnes (Irving); four sons, Dennis C Mosley III (Diane), Carl A Mosley, Manuel A Mosley, Stephen W Mosley (Kathryn); one brother John Brady (Josephine); one Aunt Vertrell Lenior; eight wonderful grandchildren; Kristie D Eames-Barnes, Kavie Barnes, Antoine Brown, Shawn Brown, Tasha Brown (Antonio), Daniel Mosley, Racquel Smrz, and Brandon Smrz; and great-grandchildren Daniel Mosley, Jr., Antonio Brown, Jr., along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, loving friends and extended family.



Our families worked together in 5th City in the late 60’s/early 70’s on many programs. Lela was such an amazing spirit woman and implemented many programs that had a positive impact on the quality of life in 5th City. She will be truly missed. Take care,

          ~~  Pat (Boivin) Price



Meida McNeal shares with the Newberry Library what she has learned about the 5th City project as she produced, 5th City Revisited.