Dr. Fleming J. Mosely III is an undeniable pillar of Lorain County. As such, he was surely blessed with heavenly wings on October 2, 2020.Mosely, born June 15, 1937, grew up in the small, gritty, working class city of Monessen, PA, a suburb far from Pittsburgh. Monessen, a racially separated mill-town, was much like Lorain. It was run by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, a company who ‘back then’ determined employees' wages by ethnic background rather than merit. In school, Mosely’s eclectic intellect was not appreciated: his eagerness was discouraged and his inquisitive nature suppressed.Hence, he strove to stand out by excelling in athletics: football, boxing and track and field. His performance earned him a full athletic scholarship to California State Teachers’ College. Mosely embraced the liberties in this less restrictive environment. He joined the ROTC and two fraternities: Kappa Alpha Psi and Alpha Kappa Lambda (as Cal U’s first Black member).
He earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1960, then served two years in the Army. While enlisted he played football for his squadron but he most enjoyed travelling to Europe where he learned to speak German. Four months after being honorably discharged he married Emily Calloway, his devoted wife of 57 years. Emily was a kindergarten for Cleveland Public Schools and they resided on Cleveland’s east side.
Mosely never shied away from an opportunity to get involved and give back. Interestingly, his will to give back resulted in his employment in Lorain. He was offered teaching positions from both Cleveland Public and Lorain Public Schools. He ultimately was drawn to Lorain because employment in its school district came with ready opportunities to share his love for academics and athletics with the community. But, working in Lorain came with an hour commute. Anyone who has ever driven with Mosely is well aware of his penchant for driving FAST. Emily was so fed up with the number of speeding tickets he incurred they decided it would be safer and cheaper to reside in Lorain.
Mosely’s first teaching position was at Lorain’s Hawthorne Boone Elementary School. After six years of successful teaching he became an assistant principal at Charleston Elementary School. He earned his master's degree in counseling and his principal certification from Cal U in 1972. He went on to become the principal of Lorain’s Lincoln Elementary, a bilingual school. While there, Mosely attended the University of Akron on a part-time basis, and earned his doctorate of education in 1982. He retired in 1988 but his distinguished career in education continued as he regularly served as a substitute and administrative consultant for Lorain County Schools through 2007.
His impact on the Lorain community was profound. He was an active principal who genuinely cared for his students. If a student was having difficulty in school he would make home visits so that he could speak with parents firsthand. He set high expectations for his students and they delivered with outstanding increases in their standardized test scores. He was also an active mentor to many. He coached everything from boxing to little league baseball to football. He established a boxing gym providing an opportunity for local athletes to pursue boxing.
Due to his unwavering dedication to the improvement of the Lorain community and the welfare of its citizens he was hand selected to be on the inaugural board of directors of the esteemed Dr. Alfred J. Loser Memorial Scholarship Fund. He remained on the board for over 30 years and helped select hundreds of Lorain City’s high school graduates who met the criteria to be awarded a scholarship.
Aside from his education attainment and accolades, Mosely was an avid athlete as illustrated by his induction into the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame, California State University’s Sports Hall of Fame (football) and the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame (boxing). As an amateur boxer he was the light-heavyweight champion of Pittsburgh for two years, Cleveland for three years and Toledo for two years. He fought and almost beat former heavyweight champion of the world Joe Frazier. His athleticism extended into his sixties during which he would compete in 5 and 10k races and race his grandchildren to the car.
He excelled at basically everything: knocking people out (4x Golden Gloves Champion), speaking (fluent in English, German and Spanish), tackling (fishing and All-State and All-American football honors), educating the masses (he became the first Black principal in Lorain City Schools), serving his country (honorably discharged from the Army in 1962), rebuilding the toys his grandchildren had broken, fixing anything, raising animals (Hanz, Fritz, Kosar, Khatzee, and Chloe to name a few) and craftsmanship (single-handedly remodeled their first family home).
He enjoyed many, many things. Among those things were coffee with double cream, chili, blackberry pie, jelly donuts, Cadillacs, The History Channel, a strong ‘drank’, a good joke, hunting for bargains, The Pittsburgh Steelers, playing the piano, Sam's Club samples, watching the Cleveland Cavaliers end the 52 year championship drought, and above all, his family. He took extreme pride in his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren as well as his school children.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Fleming J. Mosely Jr. and Leola Grant, and his brothers: William, Delmar, and Kenneth. However, Fleming’s legacy of love will live on and sustain the hearts of many beginning with his wife Emily, his son Christopher and daughter-in-law Jenny, his daughter Constance and son-in-law Curtis, his son Fleming IV and daughter-in-law Carol; five beautiful grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews. He will leave behind a legacy of service, love,laughter and endless devotion to his family, to his friends, and to the well being of all of those around him. He will forever be in our hearts.
Please join us in celebrating Dr. Mosely’s life this Sunday October 11th at Lorain High School Gymnasium. Visitation will be held from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. with a Memorial Service immediately following, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.; masks and social distancing are required. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Dr. Mosely to:Dr. Fleming J Mosely III Scholarship Fund c/o LCCC Foundation 1005 North Abbe Rd Suite CC220 Elyria, OH 44035
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