Doretha Dunlap Jackson

Published 12:01 am Saturday, November 25, 2017

June 4, 1925 – Nov. 16, 2017


FAYETTE — Services for Doretha Dunlap Jackson, 92, of Fayette, who died Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at Jefferson County Nursing Home in Fayette, will be 11 a.m. today at Hollywood Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. E.E. Colenburg Sr. officiating.        

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Burial will follow at the church cemetery under the direction of Spencer Funeral Home in Fayette.

Mrs. Jackson was born June 4, 1925, in McNair, the daughter of John Dunlap Sr. and Annie Turner. She was the third child of eight siblings.

Growing up on Whitney Hill in Jefferson County, Miss Doretha was also nurtured by her maternal grandmother, Janie Nichols, and her mother’s siblings, Warren Turner Sr., Will Hudson and Henry Hudson. She joined Hollywood Missionary Baptist Church in 1936, under the pastorate of the Rev. Joseph D. Durrell and remained there until her death. She was the oldest member of the church.

She married Joe Jackson Feb. 1, 1941, with the Rev. Humes officiating and settled down to raise 13 children. She and Mr. Joe provided opportunities for all 13 to receive an education past high school.

Although she had a busy life raising a baker’s dozen, she took the time to share her talents and meager wealth with others. A true servant, she spent countless hours making, fixing, preparing and giving to her neighbors, friends and even to strangers. Her generosity and compassion for those in need were among her strongest assets.

After her first four children completed high school, Miss Doretha decided to go to college. Shortly after she enrolled into Alcorn State University, she was hired as a headstart teacher. Soon she was dubbed “Mur” by a large number of children, some of whom are now grandmothers. Many of them continued to call her “Mur.”

Miss Doretha moved from teaching pre-kindergarten to teaching and working with homemakers as a part of the Alcorn Cooperative Extension Services. She later worked as an aide in the home health industry, retiring to attend to her husband and brother-in-law, Allen “Cat” Jackson.

Just as she labored diligently in the workplace, Miss Doretha labored in the church. She and Joe were staunch Baptists, i.e., Hollywood Baptists. She attended church regularly and supported the church and her husband’s endeavors in the church. And finally, when she became “of age” she eagerly accepted the invitation to become a member of the mother’s board, a position she wore with humility.

Alongside her husband, she embraced the Civil Rights movement, promoting and marching for the rights of Blacks and others in her community and across the state. She was one of the early members of the Jefferson County Chapter of the NAACP.

Mrs. Jackson was a longtime affiliate of the Order of Eastern Star and a member of the Fayette Community Garden Club Inc. She joined both organizations in the early 1950s, serving as president of the Garden Club and later as corresponding secretary — a position she held for more than 40 years. Gardening was her passion. She advised club members on how to grow large blooms and lush foliage. She led the brigade in planting flowers at various locations throughout the city and visiting homes to place the coveted ‘Garden of the Month’ sign. She was truly Miss Fayette Community Garden Club.

After years of service, teaching and advising, nurturing and supporting, making and giving, Mrs. Jackson moved into Jefferson County Nursing Home where she lived for six years. But Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at 2:30 p.m., she surrendered to the will of the Lord. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Mrs. Jackson was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Jackson; two children, Leonard “Ghost” Jackson (1986) and Camille Jackson (2009); her parents; six siblings, Joanna Dunlap, John Dunlap Jr., Leonard Dunlap Sr., Ceola Simon Carradine, Samuel Herrington and David Herrington.

Survivors include eight daughters, Clara J. Moore, Geraldine J. McCoy, Joeretha J. Stringer and husband, Frank, and Henrietta J. Cadney and husband, Clyde, all of Fayette, Bertha J. James of Vicksburg, Marilyn J. Williams of Shreveport, La., Carolyn J. Shepperson and husband, Thomas, of Kennesaw, Ga., and Lameta Johnson of Tacoma, Wash.; three sons, Andrew Jackson and Donald Ray Jackson and wife, Bridget, of Fayette, and Samuel A. Jackson of Terry; best friend and sister, Louise Dunlap Jackson of Fayette; two sisters-in-law, Thelma Ray Jackson green and Audrey Jackson; one brother-in-law, Andy Jackson; 39 grandchildren; 58 great-grandchildren; 21 great-great-grandchildren; and a large number of nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.