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Leffler Family

When Junetta Leffler’s brother, Andrew Henderson, told her about the opportunities and cheap homesteads in Alberta, she and her husband George Leffler decided to make an important move.

Leffler Family, 28 December 1942In 1911, Junetta and George Leffler came to Junkins, Alberta with their children Frank and Agnes. While in Junkins, Junetta and George had several more children, including Ermon, Velma, Georgia, and Jay. In all, they had eight surviving children: Ermon, Velma, Georgia, Berniece, Edna, Jay, Agnes, and Frank.

George LefflerAlthough George later helped build Junkins Baptist church, there were no places of worship at the time of his and Junetta's arrival. The Lefflers therefore opened up their home for Sunday school, and Junetta served as superintendent.

George and Junetta were both active musicians in the community, singing and playing various instruments.

Frank Leffler and daughter Joy, 1940s.The Lefflers' son Frank and his wife Gladys opened a cookhouse for sawmill workers and later started the Dry Goods and Novelty Store in Junkins. They moved from Junkins to Edmonton in 1958. After they retired, they began managing an automotive repair business in Edmonton with their daughter Joy and son-in-law Mark. Joy and Mark have three children: Trevor, Alyson, and Sheldon.

Ermon Leffler married Connie Johnson. They had five children: Ernest, Russell, Dean, Pamela, and Tracy. Ernest is a social worker in Vancouver, while his brother Russell is a Hospital Aid. Dean lives in Edmonton and is self-employed. Tracy, the youngest son, sells electronics. Pamela was a professional model in New York, but she returned to Edmonton and married Larry Clayton Parker, in 1988. Pamela also started here own business in 1988, Pamela Parker Cosmetics.

Berniece Leffler married William Lail and lived in Frenso, California. She and William adopted twins Paul and Paulette. Paul lives in Fresno and Paulette is a univeristy administrator in Virginia.

Edna Leffler married Reverend Shepherd Holland in a double ceremony with her brother Frank. Edna and Shepherd moved to Fresno, California where Edna became a school teacher. They had three children: Merna, Alois, and Lynne. Merna is a retired hospital administrator. Alois is the business owner Holland Appraisals Ltd. in Edmonton. Lynne works for the US Federal Government in Washington, DC. Edna passed away in 1999.

Velma (Leffler) Carter, 1927Velma Leffler married Mitchell Carter. They have a son, LeVero Carter, who became the father of gospel music in Edmonton, and three grandchildren, Junetta, Leah, and Thane. Velma received a teaching degree in Edmonton and she taught at the Empyrean School in Wildwood (formerly known as Junkins) and at King Edward School in Calgary. With her niece, Wanda Leffler Akili, she co-authored The Window of Our Memories, a collection of oral histories about the Black pioneers of Alberta.

Velma’s granddaughter, Junetta Jamerson, is an actor, singer, and storyteller in Edmonton, head of the Alberta Black Pioneer Heritage Singers gospel choir, and on the executive committee of the Black Pioneer Descendants' Society of Western Canada. Her husband, Rick Jamerson, is president of the Society and a boxing coach in Edmonton. In 2007, Rick was presented with a Man of Honour Award by the Prostitution Awareness and Action Foundation of Edmonton (PAAFE) for being a positive male role model in Edmonton.

Georgia Leffler earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California, Berkeley. She taught at several schools in Edmonton, and she was an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church. She passed away in 1978.

Kurtiss Leffler, age 2. 1962Jay Leffler, the youngest of George and Junetta Leffler's children, married Caroline Johnson. He worked as an electrician, and Caroline worked in telecommunications for the Edmonton Police Service. They had seven children: Wanda, Debbie, Byron, Kenneth, Kurtiss, Roderick, and Darren. The eldest, Wanda, is a teacher in Alberta; she is married to Samaji Akili, and they have two sons. Debbie teaches in Edmonton; she is married to Herbert McKerry Dobbins and they have three children. Byron and Darren are both entertainers. David lives in Calgary. Kurtis is an electrician in Edmonton. Rod has an autobody business in Edmonton.

Agnes Leffler, 1940sAgnes Leffler Perry went to Edmonton to live with her grandparents, where she earned her teaching certificate. She married Bishop C.A. Perry from California. They have a child, Bernice, and a grandchild, Julianne. Bishop Perry, now deceased, was both a pastor and missionary.

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