Ella's Life

A Shapshot of Ella's Life…

Ella Louise Nolley was born on June 5, 1949, in San Francisco, to the union of Elvin Nolley and Ella Means Nolley. The oldest of three children, she had twin siblings: brother (deceased) and sister Barbara Anne. She went home to be with the Lord on July 13, 2011, after a brief illness.


The family moved to Menlo Park around 1953. Ella’s Father worked in construction and her Mother was a housewife. Although Ella and her siblings did not grow up in a Christian home, her parents sent them to St. John Baptist Church in East Palo Alto for their spiritual nurturing. When Ella was eight years old, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior and followed Him in baptism.


Ella graduated from Ravenswood High School, Palo Alto, in 1967. Shortly thereafter, she met and married Bernard Williams. Later she married Huey Scott. (Both unions were dissolved.) In 1971, Ella and Alex Johnson were blessed by the birth of their son, Atiba Elvin Sekou Johnson. A few years later, Ella and Durojaiye David rejoiced at the birth of Lawrence Akintunde David.


Always an industrious woman, Ella worked for several Bay Area companies, including CSAAA, Pacific Bell, the Menlo Park Police Department, and Palo Alto Medical Clinic. While working at Charles Drew Health Clinic in East Palo Alto, she returned to school, earning her AA in Dental Hygene at Foothill College, Los Altos. She worked as a dental hygenist until physical disabilities forced her into an early retirement.


Since 1998, Ella has been a member of Abundant Life faithfully serving with the stewardship committee and the ushers, as well as participating in several fellowship groups, including OASIS and Singles.


Ella was a very resourceful woman who was a wealth of information and took great pleasure in helping others. Some of the things she loved to do were sewing, gardening, and home remodeling/decorating. She also enjoyed walking, summer jazz concerts, wine tasting, and playing bid whist. Although Ella had her share of challenges, she never engaged in self-pity, but believed that she could “do all things through Christ….” (Phil 4:13)


She will be remembered for so many things, but mostly for her generosity, her fierce devotion to family and friends, and her contagious laughter.


She leaves to rejoice in her memory, sons Atiba Johnson (significant other Nadia Bidondo) and Lawrence David (Quisha Beckum-David). She will be greatly missed by eight grandchildren: DreShawn Anthony McMurry, Janea Michelle McMurry, Sharef Beckum-Swearington, Nadia Jerriann McMurry, Isis S. Banks David, Atiba Bertrum Sekou Johnson (AJ), Jr., Damilare A. David, and Ashanti Ella Starr Johnson; step mother Pauline Nolley (Louisiana); sister Barbara Nolley (San Jose) and step sister Antoinette Nance (Chino); and uncles Ruben Nolley and Alvin Jackson (Ruth) (Louisiana). She will also be missed by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


She is preceded in death by her parents Elvin and Ella Nolley; uncle Clarence Nolley; and aunts Rosie Lee Harris and Era Tillman.