Brown-Wynne Funeral Home & Crematory

300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC


Lelia Bernard Blanchard

May 25, 1956September 6, 2020

Lelia Bernard Blanchard died peacefully on September 6th at Transitions LifeCare after a long summer spent beautifully and bravely battling multiple medical issues.

In fact, Lelia dealt with mental and medical issues most of her life – always with great spirit and heart! Born with a significant mental disability in Raleigh, Lelia was part of one of the first cohorts of students with such disabilities to be mainstreamed in public schools in Wake County. She successfully and happily completed Wiley Elementary, Daniels Junior High and finished at Broughton High School in 1975, overcoming many obstacles, with the help of her mentor and friend, Janet Peoples Jackson.

Several years after graduating from Broughton, Lelia moved out of the family home and into the Millbrook Group Home, run by Residential Support Services. Millbrook became her home for almost 35 years with four other residents and a loving devoted staff. During these years, Lelia was gainfully employed by Wake Enterprises, a supervised workplace for many adults with disabilities. During the last several years, she enjoyed the incredibly loving and patient one-on-one encouragement and direction of Ms. Joyce Sutton.

Throughout her life, Lelia had the support of a large village to help her enjoy the community. She was a good swimmer who attended the YMCA, was a Girl Scout, a frequent participant in Special Olympics and ongoing activities offered by The Arc of Wake County - with her good friend Doug Gill. She was a member of Hayes Barton Methodist Church where she enjoyed the Starnes Class. She loved to bowl and “joke around” with her friends and family.

“Leelee” repeatedly shared her simple but profound wisdom with anyone who would listen. Two of her favorite phrases were “tell only the good news, not the bad news,” and “take it just one day and one thing at the time.”

Lelia adored her devoted “Mama” Bernard Blanchard (deceased) and beloved “Daddy”, Charles F. Blanchard and his wife Archie Blanchard; and her “favorite” (and only) sibling, “My Sister”, Anna Neal Blanchard. They along with many Blanchard, Berkeley and Fuller cousins; and Brad, Marian and Carla Ashley and Eva Harris; housemates; friends; members of her church family and colleagues will miss Lelia’s bright smile, feisty spirit and big pure heart.

A private family service celebrating Lelia's life will be held at 11:30 am on Friday, Sept. 11th at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, the service will be live streamed through www.hbumc.org/live.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Lelia’s name to: Wake Enterprises, 3548 Bush Street, Raleigh, NC 27609, or to Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, Pastor’s Discretionary Fund, 2209 Fairview Rd., Raleigh, NC 27608.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St., Raleigh.


  • Wake Enterprises
  • Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, Pastor’s Discretionary Fund


  • A private family service celebrating Lelia's life

    Friday, September 11, 2020



Lelia Bernard Blanchard

have a memory or condolence to add?

Annetta Hoggard

September 14, 2020

Dear Mr. Blanchard and Anna Neal,

I am so sorry for your loss. I remember Lelia and I know how painful it is to lose a sibling. The Blanchard family have been true and dear friends to the Jones family all these many years, and our love and prayers are with you now.

Gwen Kelly

September 12, 2020

Lelia you will surely be missed. I've enjoyed your presence for the last 20 years at wake enterprise. Rest in peace my friend.
Mrs. Gwen

Jacquelyn (JAY) Hunter

September 11, 2020

I started working with Lela at Wake Enterprises August 2010. I enjoyed Lela very much. We used to go bowling to the malls and parks. Eating out was one of her delightful outings and would always want to order a “hamburger and coke a cola as she would say”. I was deeply hurt when I found out she transitioned, but God knows best. I will miss you Lela and family be encouraged . May peace and comfort be with you.❤️❤️❤️
Ms Jay

Neal Johnson

September 11, 2020

I remember the fun and joy I had riding from Richmond to Raleigh with my “ Raleigh cousins.” We would all lie in the back of the station wagon singing-“ I see the moon and the moon sees me, God bless the moon and God bless me”
I will miss you Lelia!

kimberly steward

September 9, 2020

Well Leila Belia, this is your supervisor requesting that you rest and be good up there in heaven. Know that your supervisor misses you dearly and her heart is hurting, but she will be okay knowing that you are okay. (For those reading, supervisor was Leila's nickname for me). I will miss your hugs, you gave the best hugs!! Rest easy lady bug!

Taisie Berkeley

September 8, 2020

In the 50's, our Berkeley family drove from Charlotte to Raleigh regularly to be with Bernard (Dad's sister), Charlie, and Lee-Lee (before Anna Neal's time). I remember family pics on the front porch, lots of giggles and a dancing dog. Then Anna Neal's arrival made for new sisterly laughter and family liveliness.

Later, the Special Olympics was Lee-Lee's time to shine. As an adult, she worked digilently all through the years; Sunday's were lunch with family. Lee-lee was a sweetheart; with her ever welcoming smiles and reaching out to others, she warmed my heart, again and again.

Cary Berkeley Kaye

September 8, 2020

I remember how patient Lelia was with me when I had trouble understanding her. I remember how tender she was with Aunt Bernard and Uncle Charlie. Thinking of Anna Neal and Charlie-- love, Cary (with Nigel, Lou, and Muriel)

George Lennon

September 7, 2020

Charles and Anna Neal - Betty Anne and I are sorry to learn of your loss. No child ever had a more loving family.

Gaither Terrell

September 7, 2020

Oh, I am heartbroken for you! I am taken immediately back to early childhood and elementary school days- to wonderful memories of birthday parties and playing together. All of you Blanchards were extended family to us Moores and LeLe was a light in our lives. She was so treasured by her devoted family.
Sending light and love to you as you grieve. ❤️


Learn more about the Blanchard name