Mother Erma Earl Lenoir, nicknamed “Sal,” was the youngest of three children born to the union of Zemmar and Bertha Mae Lenoir, Sr., on July 6, 1932, in Prairie, Mississippi.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 62 years, Joe David Broyles, Sr.; son, Willie B. Broyles; brothers, Bishop Lenton H. Lenoir of Rialto CA, Elder Zemmar Lenoir of Riverside, CA, and Paul and Simuel Lenoir of San Bernardino CA; parents, Zemmar Sr., and Bertha Lenoir; and surrogate parents, Frank and Jessie Kate Walker of Columbus, MS.
Erma was six months old when her mom passed away, leaving her to be raised by her dad, Zemmar Lenoir, who had moved back to Riverside, California. When the responsibility of raising his baby girl became challenging, he returned to Mississippi, and Erma’s grandmother, Ada Crothers, helped him raise his daughter. Later, Bertha’s sister, Jessie Kate and her husband, Frank Freeman Walker, who were newly married and had no children, took Erma into their family and raised her as their first child. She kept that title of being their first child all her life and wore it proudly, even after they birthed three children. She has always been known as their older sister.
At the age of 17, she met and married Joe David Broyles. They dated for one month before marrying and were married for 62 years, until his death on June 25, 2012. They and their then five children, lived for 8 years in Prairie, Mississippi and their remaining years together was spent in St. Louis, Missouri before his passing. To this union, nine children were born: Willie B., Joe David, Jr., Loretta, Bertha Mae, Lee Roy, Larry, Vincent, Donald, and Ronald.
Sal, as she was called, made many trips back to Mississippi to visit the family. Jessie Kate and Frank were especially close to her heart, and they were more like her parents than her aunt and uncle. Jessie Kate and Frank were as grandparents to all her children.
Sal was pampered and spoiled by her dad and all the members of her mom’s family. All the aunts and uncles would cater to her whims. She was given everything that she wanted because the family felt badly that Sal was growing up without her mom, and they did not want her to feel that she was missing out on anything.
Sal accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior while living in Mississippi at the age of 12 years old. Upon moving to St. Louis, she placed her membership with Kennerly Temple COGIC and remained there until her husband accepted the Lord as his personal Savior, under the pastorship of Pastor Louis Tucker. Joe went to Ascension COGIC because he heard the Word of Salvation under Pastor Tucker and wanted to remain under his tutelage. They later placed their membership at Brotherly Love West C.A., which later changed the name to River of Life C.A., under the pastorship of Pastor Willie R. McMiller, Sr., where both their memberships remained until their death. During her years of membership, she served as a member of the Kennerly Temple COGIC radio choir. She was an usher for many years, the President of the Usher Board for over 10 years, and a member of the River of Life Mother’s Board.
Erma worked for the Welford family for many years. She became a member of the family and enjoyed assisting in raising all their children. They affectionately considered her as a mother and a grandmother to their family. Hal, Amanda, Warren, Rebecca, and Harry loved her unconditionally and recently added Angela and baby Hal to the family. The Welford’s loved and always honored our mother during her special days until her passing. The children of Erma Broyles will forever be grateful for the love and support you gave to our mom during her time with you and during her illness. We Love You!
Erma worked for P. N. Hirsch & Company until she retired in October of 1994. Her years after retirement were consumed caring for her family. She was an excellent mother who put her family first in all things. She was an excellent cook and loved crocheting, working in her flower and vegetable gardens, attending church services, and of course, talking on the phone. She loved watching the wrestling matches on television. Sometimes you would have thought that she was beating up the fellow on the mat. No one could interfere with her wrestling matches on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights.
Daily, you could hear Sal praying to God asking him to restore her strength, thanking him for restoring her strength, and praising Him for all He has done for her. Throughout the night, she would lay in her bed talking and praying to God. She was a woman of great faith. Even while raising her children, she put all her trust in God to teach her how to raise her children, how to be a good wife and homemaker. While in the hospital, she was served communion and anointed with blessed oil many days. No matter what the diagnosis, she kept her faith in the Lord.
Erma Broyles lived a full life until her transition on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at St. Mary’s Hospital. She has missed her dearly beloved husband, Joe, for many years and now they are united and in the presence of God. Mom and Dad, you will forever be missed by your children and their families. We loved you soooo much and will miss you soooo much!
Left to forever cherish her memories are her children, Joe David Broyles, Jr. (Ellouise), Loretta Broyles-Ewing, Bertha Mae Ewing, Larry James Broyles, Sr. (Deborah), Lee Roy Broyles, Sr., Vincent Eric Broyles, Sr. (LaJuan), Donald Broyles (Rossie), and Ronald Broyles (Adrianne); 31 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Annie Mae Gray of Chicago, IL; one brother, Sherman Lenoir of Riverside, CA; sisters-in-law, Doris Lenoir of Riverside, CA and Wanda Lenoir of Rialto, CA; and a huge host of aunts and uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews. Additionally, The Welford Family, the River of Life Christian Ministries church family, and the many family members and friends whom she talked to almost daily on the phone will miss her dearly. Erma, “Sal,” was the Matriarch of the Crothers family and will be missed dearly.
To send flowers to Mother Erma Earl ("Sal") Broyles' family, please visit our floral store.