“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Easter Edell Jackson was born to Richard and Minnie Jackson on December 15, 1920 in Burke County, Georgia in the house of a midwife. She was the second oldest of five children. Her Father was a sharecropper, her Mother a substitute teacher. When she was four years old, the youngest brother was days old when her father passed away. This was when the family had to relocate to a cousin Willie Whitfield's house. Back then if there wasn't an old enough male in the house to support a family, there was no welfare. Shortly, after they moved in exchange for living there they all had to work on the farm. Easter was born in Waynesboro, Georgia which some call Lexdell, Georgia. Whitfield farm was where she was raised in Munlynn, Georgia with her cousins. At a very young age she accepted Christ as her personal savior and was baptized truly down by the riverside. This is where she attended a one room schoolhouse, she received a seventh-grade education. During this time, she became overwhelmed with working in the fields, taking care of her siblings, and attending school. Easter ran away from home and eloped with an older man by the name of James Lee Cooper. To this Union, her only daughter Mattie Lee Cooper was born in Savannah, GA.
Being a teenage mother, she spent lots of time at church after marriage. The church was called Asbury she attended faithfully. One Sunday morning Easter decided to leave an abusive situation, and her Mother put her on a bus to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She resided in the rural south until 1941, at the tender age of 21 is when she came to live on the 2400 block of Nicholas St. in North Philadelphia. Aunt Lula Moore needed help with her two children, this is when she started attending New Haven Baptist Church. Shortly after she found employment and her siblings followed her up here for a better lifestyle and job opportunities. Easter was excited about her new journey away from the Southern civil rights atmosphere and turmoil.
Easter found employment at Bayuk Cigar located on 9th and Colombia now known as Cecil B. Moore Ave. This is when she found her own place. A room on North 10th St., she was shocked about how close people resided next to each other in Philadelphia. During this time, she met her very true first love with Harry John Ayers. To this relationship she had her sons Raymond Lee in 1946 and William O. Jackson in 1948. This is when she relocated to North 21st where she started attending the Diamond St. Mennonite Church at Gratz and Diamond St. After a special invitation to church from her only sister, she accepted and went. Easter held her head higher and started attending Emmanuel United Methodist Church with her sister Gussie Oliver. This is where she found her peace and comfortability.
Easter held many jobs, including a migrant worker picking cotton in the south, to picking fruit in the north. She worked as a maid for over 20 years. In February 1968, she found gainful employment at Pennsylvania Hospital 8th and Spruce St. retiring happily March 31,1985. She loved her job as a Christian Mother more importantly than anything else, she expressed with a smile. No matter where she worked she always smiled. Especially, when her and her daughter Mattie bought their first house at 2749 N Hemberger St. After her daughter married Eduardo they moved to a larger residence at the 2400 block of Cumberland St, where Eduardo took care of his mother in-law during her later years. She loved her neighbors, block parties, and sitting on the porch doing crossword puzzles. Easter Jackson resided here until her health declined at the tender age of 100. She was affectionately known by the millions of people who knew her by Mrs. Jackson. She especially loved being given the name GRAN-GRAN by her oldest granddaughter Yolanda Jackson.
Emmanuel United Methodist Church is where Easter found peace and comfortability. She joined in 1954 under the pastorate of the founder Rev. Lawrence Brown. Easter proudly served as an admiral Sunday School Teacher, member of the United Methodist Women and the Jubilee Choir. Mother Jackson always has been a child of God, striving to make heaven her home. Looking back over her life she believed not only was it a testimony, it was truly a blessing. After living over 100 years, many trials, tribulations she never ever lost her faith in God and for that she says I'm Truly GRATEFUL. Her Favorite Hymn and Forever will be "Blessed Assurance" this is my story and this is my song.
On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, God in His infinite wisdom called Easter Jackson home. She was preceded in death by her parents Richard and Minnie Jackson, her siblings Charlie Wade Jackson, Willie Jackson, Richmond Jackson Sr. and Gussie Oliver, her only daughter, Daughter Mattie Lee Cooper-Nikiema, grandson William O. Jackson Jr., a great-grandson Craig Jackson Sr., and a great-great granddaughter Khyro Rayne Smith. She leaves a legacy of cherished memories to: her two devoted sons Raymond L. (Frances) Jackson and William O.(Lillian) Jackson; her son in-law Eduardo Nikiema, grandchildren Yolanda Jackson, Wesley O. Jackson, LaTanya Jackson-Wilson, Shondra (Sim) Jackson-Wilder, Nyerere Jackson. Two Special Grandchildren Illya Johnson and Jerica Izzard-Santiago. Her great-grands Turhan, Khalil, TiJuana, Aaron, Ellis, Elana, Jaseem Denise, Vilal, Dominique, Destiny, Courtney, Shante, Justice, Aylani-li, many nieces, nephews and friends.
Submitted With Love,
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