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April 1, 1966 ~ January 22, 2024 (age 57) 57 Years Old
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Leona Francis, lovingly known as Cookie, was born on April 1, 1958, to Alberta Davis and Conrad Francis at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Leona is one out of eight siblings who she adored greatly. Leona’s personality was as big as her beautiful smile. Her laugh was infectious, and she had the biggest heart anyone could have as she would give you her last.
Cookie, a name given to her because she had some big cheeks, grew up in Hollis Queens, NY. She was raised by a loving family, Mr., and Mrs. Dantzlers with her sister Clarissa Heartsfield. In her early adolescence, Cookie reconnected with her six other siblings and her grandmother, Alma Jenkins in 1969 in New York. Cookie was beyond excited as she finally met with more siblings and later reconnected with her mother, Alberta.
Cookie was the life of the party; she loved to dance and always had a punchline about whoever tried her! She was quick, witty, very funny, and a protector of her siblings. She LOVED her family! In her High School years, she loved Math as she always did exceptionally well in all her classes and even helped her siblings with homework. Later, became a sidekick to her oldest brother, Kenneth.
Cookie was a proud mother to three wonderful children: Elshalik, Kiya, and Damien. Her greatest achievement she would say – was being a mother. Each of her children grew up to be successful, loving parents, and close-knit celebrating birthdays, holidays, and momentous moments together. She also loved to cook at the drop of a dime no matter the occasion. If you are hungry—she will cook you some favorable dishes! From her sardine dip to her potato salad, Cookie knew how to throw down!
A New York native, most of her life, Cookie lived in the South Bronx where she was a proud member of the community, she made several deep connections and friendships where she lived. In 2018, Cookie moved to Harlem, New York where she continues to have a profound impact in her community. A devoted neighbor, Cookie advocated for her fellow tenants in her building by being a member of the Lobby Board, she provided essential items and updated COVID information to all the residents and due to her contagious personality, she made sure everyone got what they needed. Her community loved and respected her and affectionately called her Momma Cookie
It's important to note, Cookie was selfless. While being the voice of her community, Cookie battled a long bout with asthma which impacted her health. Needing countless visits to her doctors to help her get better. However, no matter her health struggles, she continued to smile, laugh, and be her amazing self to her family, friends, and her community.
Left to grieve are her children: Elshalik, Kiya, and Damien. Her grandchildren: Sabrina, Azzure, Khaliah, Layla, Hunter, Essence, Amariah, and Zenobia. Her only great grandchild: Rylan. Her siblings: Donald, John Charles, Gwendolyn, Marion, and Clarissa. She is preceded by her brother: Kenneth “Nubs” and a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws, and cousins too many to mention but loved just as much.