Leora grew up on a dairy farm in the mountains of western North Carolina. Her father was James Monroe German, and her mother was Mary Alice Carlton German. She attended Berea College in Kentucky and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a pioneering social worker. During World War II she served as director of the Red Cross Field Hospital at Reims, France. During the Battle of the Bulge, the heavy artillery was audible. Her service in Europe was a highlight of her life, and a memorable experience as long as she lived. She particularly remembered an American soldier liberated from a Nazi prisoner of war camp. Presented with a K-ration, he looked at it and said, "You mean, all this is for me?"
Following the War she served as a social worker at Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, where she met and married Dr. Alfred E. E. Toerne, a dentist at the same facility. Late in 1950 or early in 1951 she went to the doctor with a stomach ache. The doctor told her that she was pregnant. She replied, "Doctor, I'll have you know that I'm 40 years old!" The doctor told her, "Yes, Mrs. Toerne, and you are also pregnant." On August 30, 1951 she gave birth to her only child, Alfred E. Toerne, Jr.
On Palm Sunday, 1957, Dr. Alfred Toerne died suddenly of a coronary occlusion at the age of 57.
On March 21, 1959 Leora married Gus V. Nau, brother of dear friend, Dr. Cornelius Nau.
Leora continued her career in social work, earning the degree of M.S.W. at Worden School of Social Work at Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio.
She served as a medical social worker for the Veterans Administration in San Antonio until her retirement in 1972.