Atlanta Metropolitan State College

In Memoriam

Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC) lost five trailblazers during the past year, 2018-2019.  Mrs. Leatrice Bell, former director of continuing education and Charles F. Easley, Sr., the college’s first Dean of Students, passed during the spring, 2018. Both Bell and Easley were at the helm of their respective units when the college opened its doors in 1974 as Atlanta Junior College. Over the years, they both made valuable contributions to the college and the community that it serves before as well as after their respective retirement. Both remained loyal and committed to the advancement of the college, even in retirement with Easley providing sound advice and council to its new leadership and with Bell, for example, becoming a member and officer of the recently organized Atlanta Metropolitan State College Retirees Association. Their passing was followed by the deaths of Dr. Weldon Elbert, former Chair of the Social Sciences Division, Ben Allen, former Registrar, and William "Bill" Bryant, former Media Specialist.

Mrs. Leatrice Bell, who passed away on March 7, 2018, was a native of Atlanta and the second of three children born to the late John and Beatrice Traylor. She attended the old Oglethorpe Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School. She was an accomplished musician and was frequently called upon to perform across the city. She attended Spelman College where she majored in Psychology and Music and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She sang in the Spelman Glee Club, the Morehouse-Spelman Choir, organized and directed the Spelman Sunday School Choir, played timpani in the Morehouse-Spelman orchestra, and played piano in the Spelman College Trio. She was awarded a B’nai B’rith fellowship, and enrolled at Atlanta University where she earned a Master of Arts in Sociology.

Mrs. Bell was employed at a number of well-known institutions across the country including Elizabeth City State Teachers College in North Carolina where she was Director of Educational Testing and taught Psychology; Alabama A&M State College in Huntsville, AL and Owen College (now LeMoyne-Owen College) in Memphis, TN where she taught Sociology and Psychology.

Mrs. Bell began work at Morris Brown College as Dean of Women in 1965. She was recalled to Spelman College and held posts as the Assistant Director of Admissions, Director of Institutional Research and Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs. She was recruited to Atlanta Metropolitan College where she served as Director of Public Service and Community Education for twenty-one years until her retirement.

Mrs. Bell had many friends and was affiliated with several organizations. She was a member of the NAACP, the Maggie Russell Board at Allen Temple A.M.E. Church, a Life Member of the Georgia Retired Teachers Association, a member of the National Alumni Association of Spelman College, National Epicureans, Inc. (Atlanta Chapter), the Smart Set Social Club, the Black Pearls Bridge Club, the University Bridge Club, the Aries Birthday Club, the D.D. Social Club, and the Heritage Valley Community Club.

Mrs. Bell lived a life filled with notable accomplishments and wonderful experiences. However, she often professed that her most rewarding experience was the privilege and joy of being the mother of two wonderful sons whom she loved dearly. She is survived by her sons: Charles (Janet) and Bruce Bell, brother: John (Doretha) Traylor, Jr., nephews: John (Leisa) Traylor, III and Michael (Khy) Traylor, niece: Sherri (Rob) Saunders, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Charles F. Easley, Sr. (known to most as Dean Easley) passed away on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. He was memorialized as a Father, Educator, Senior Administrator, Mentor and Friend. Born in Dalton, Georgia, May 3, 1935, he was the youngest and last survivor of thirteen (13) children. Dean Easley received an honorable discharge from the United States Army in 1962 as an officer. He was a member of Radcliffe Presbyterian Church for over 50 years where he served as Moderator Emeritus of the Men of Radcliffe, and was both an Elder and a Trustee there. He was the Vice Moderator of the 215 General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).

He graduated from Emery Street School (Dalton, Georgia) as valedictorian and later from Knoxville College (Knoxville, Tennessee) where he was a four-sport athlete and Major League Baseball draftee. He also attended Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, Georgia), Columbia University Teacher's College (New York City), and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. He was a high school teacher and multi-championship coach at Stephens High School (Calhoun, GA), a college professor, faculty advisor of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and Dean of Students at Morris Brown College, Dean of Students at Atlanta Junior College, and he retired as Vice President of Student Affairs of Atlanta Metropolitan College, now Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC). On two occasions, during his tenure at AMSC, he chaired search committees, and served as Interim President. The Charles F. Easley Pavilion located in the AMSC Conference Center, is named in his honor.

Dean Easley’s accomplishments and contributions are diverse as well as numerous.  He was an avid sports enthusiast and remained active in sports by playing semi-pro basketball and officiating in three (3) high school sports through his affiliation with the Atlanta Quarterback Club. He was a 1963 Georgia Teacher of the Year, 1971 Outstanding Educator Awardee, and recipient of a host of other Leadership and Achievement awards. In the community, he served on many boards, and committees, most notably at Trinity School (Vice Chair), Sheltering Arms (President), The Westminster School’s Christian Education Committee, SACS-Accreditation and Education Committees, West Fulton (now West End) Rotary Club (President), Paul Harris Fellow, and member of Leadership Atlanta.

Dean Easley's wife, Helen S. Easley, as well as all his brothers, sisters and most of his in-laws preceded him in death. He is survived by Tania P. Easley (daughter), Charles F. Easley, Jr. (son), granddaughter, Jenna Bailey, Christopher Prothro (great grandson), Jessica Bailey (sister-in-law), Madge Easley, and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.  Funeral Services were held on June 2, 2018.
(Atlanta Journal- Constitution, June 1, 2018)

Dr. Weldon Eugene Elbert, Sr. passed away in the comfort of his home in Atlanta, Georgia on November 25, 2018. Dr. Elbert was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on February 15, 1929 to Myrtle Elbert. He was a compassionate, loving, caring, and dedicated husband, father, grandfather and a person loved by all who knew him. Dr. Elbert was instrumental in touching the lives of those who crossed his path and was blessed to have friends who expressed their gratitude to him while he lived. He was a man with strong faith in God and Family. He enjoyed teaching others how to learn, love, and live the truths of life.

Dr. Elbert attended the public schools of Vernon, Texas, receiving his high school diploma in 1944. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Morehouse College in 1948; Ph.D in counseling psychology and guidance in 1969 from East Texas State University (Texas A & M University at Commerce); and completed a program in acupuncture and holistic medicine at the Open University in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

Dr. Elbert had a vibrant private consulting practice that was balanced by adjunct teaching. He served as chairperson of the social science division and professor of psychology at Atlanta Metropolitan College from 1977 to 1992. He also served as associate professor of counseling education at Atlanta University from 1976-1977 and chief guidance officer in the Ministry of Education in Guyana, South America. His early experiences involved working as an associate professor of psychology at Fort Valley College and program administrator in the West Texas Education Center in Midland, Texas. 

Dr. Elbert taught graduate courses in special education at Atlanta University which included behavioral modification, counseling techniques, psychological assessment, educational planning and counseling. Other experiences involved teaching undergraduate and graduate levels of counseling techniques, psychology, guidance, special education and sociology. His thirst for universal knowledge took him around the world to Africa, Europe, and South America. His most challenging accomplishment was writing his first novel in 2011 entitled, "A New World View 2710."

Weldon Elbert is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Phyllis Bady Elbert and two children from a previous marriage: son, Weldon Elbert Jr. (Marylouise Young) and daughter, Rhonda Elbert Tripeaux (Dennis). Other survivors include grandson, Winston Elbert; granddaughter, Welth Cooper (Lee), granddaughter, Akira Tripeaux McKenzie (Lenny), grandson, Braylon Gage, as well as other nieces and nephews.

Memorial Services were held on December 7, 2018 at Greater Deliverance Baptist Church at 705 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd., NW, Atlanta, GA.  
Elbert, Weldon Eugene
(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Dec. 2 - Dec. 3, 2018)

Benjamin (Ben) Allen, Jr. passed away Sunday, December 2, 2018. He was born September 15, 1938, in Brunswick, Georgia to the late Benjamin Joseph Allen, Sr. and Cauree Elizabeth Allen. Mr. Allen was a 1957 graduate of Risley High School in Brunswick. He retired from the University of Georgia after 20-plus years as a college registrar. He served in the position of Registrar at Atlanta Metropolitan College for a number of years before returning to Savannah State University where he retired.
Mr. Allen was an active member and elder of the Camp Creek Church of Christ in Atlanta where he made his home after retiring. Funeral services for Mr. Allen were conducted on Saturday, December, 15, 2018 at the Camp Creek Church of Christ.

William Alfred “Bill” Bryant passed away on December 27, 2018 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Bill, as most of his colleagues at Atlanta Junior College/Atlanta Metropolitan College referred to him, was born on August 23, 1938 in Atlanta, Georgia. He served as the audio visual technology and media specialist at the college. Celebration of Life Services for Bill were held on January 8, 2019 at the Floral Hills Funeral Home and Crematory in Tucker, Georgia. A video tribute which reflects his knowledge and love of photography and the visual arts can be viewed at