LEXINGTON — Services for Leola Green Blackmon, 85, of Black Hawk, who died Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, in Jackson, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Saints College, Deborah Mason Patterson Hall in Lexington.
Burial will follow at Jeff Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery, west of Vaiden, under the direction of Roberts and Sons Mortuary in Winona.
Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home, with family hour from 6 to 8 p.m.
Mrs. Blackmon was born July 13, 1925, in Black Hawk, the daughter of Will and Lugenia Green. At the age of 13, Leola joined the Jeff Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church under the pasturage of the Rev. Cullins. She was a God-fearing woman who worked tirelessly for more than 75 years in the C.M.E. church. She served in various capacities, including Sunday school teacher, church school superintendent and president of the local, district and state missionary society.
On March 17, 1945, Leola married her fellow church member and soul mate , Percy Lee Blackmon. Together, they raised 11 children, all of whom are left to cherish her memory and to carry on her legacy.
Leola attended Bennett Public School through the eighth grade. She had a gift for academics, as well as a zest for education. In fact, she stayed in the eighth grade for three years, not because she failed to pass, but because the school only went to the eighth grade and there was no high school available to her at the time. Or, as she often said, “I was not through learning yet.” Later in life, Leola received her GED through Mississippi Valley State College, and afterwards, matriculated at Saints Junior College and Tougaloo College to further her education.
Leola’s childhood dream was to become a schoolteacher. She realized that dream in the early 1970s by becoming a Headstart teacher. Believing that everybody could be “somebody,” Leola was a motivater who always encouraged her students to stay in school and let education move them from poverty to prosperity. She touched the lives of a number of children over her teaching career. She also touched the hearts of a number of other young people in her next job as a laborer for Irving Industries, where she worked until she retired.
She was preceded in death by her parents; four siblings, Mary, Willie Mae, Johnny and Corrine and a devoted son-in-law, Lee Tyms.
Survivors include 11 children, Percy Lee Blackmon Jr. and wife, Zenobia, of Montgomery, Ala., Earl G. Blackmon and wife, Jannie, and Lydia Roberta Blackmon, all of Lexington, Lillie Blackmon Sanders and husband, Everett, and Sheila Tyms, all of Natchez, William Ray Blackmon and wife, Bobbie, of Morehead, Hermon Blackmon of Black Hawk, Denise Imar and husband, Benson, of Sugarland, Texas, Ruby Genice Byrd and husband, DeMorris, of Houston, Texas, Sylvia Blackmon Roberts and husband, Anthony, of Lakeland, Fla., and Ola Blackmon-McBride and husband, James, of Knoxville, Tenn.; a special nephew, Johnnie Green of Chicago; 22 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Guy Lee Green and wife, Matilda, of Chicago and Vance Green of Coila; one brother-in-law, Charlie Louis Blackmon and wife, Ola Mae, of West; two sisters-in-law, Bettye Green of Omaha, Neb., and Wornia Mae Wright of Chicago; two beloved daughters-in-law, Alison Blackmon and Lourdes Cruz; a special cousin, Minnie Meeks; and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.