Ella Mae Jackson Dawson, affectionately known as Ma'Dear, Miss Ella Mae and Nanny, was born April 6, 1920 in Dansville. She loved the moments during her childhood that she shared with her father, Sam Jackson, who died at an early age. She received formal education through the sixth grade, and later proudly attained her seventh grade diploma as an adult in the Webster Parish schools.
As a young adult, Ella Dawson moved to Minden and became a member of Saint Rest Baptist Church, under the leadership of the Rev. B.F. Martin. She was a member of the adult choir, Sunday school and served on the food ministry team.
She worked alongside her mother, Sarah Lee, cleaning and catering domestically, as well as in their Do Drop-In restaurant. She served many in the community with her great skills in upholstery, sewing, gardening, cooking (even preparing wild game) and provided food, clothing, shelter and a listening ear to those in need. Ella always enjoyed singing and music of various types. She was known for being witty, telling many jokes and enjoyed recalling hilarious stories from her past.
After retiring at a ripe old age, she moved to Beaufort, South Carolina to live with her daughter and granddaughter, Rosalind and Imade. She became a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church and attended Sunday school and Bible study until her health failed.
Her adopted family includes, Vincent Wilson, Bertha Hunter, Woodrow and Ruby Musgrow, Ellen Billard, Robert Brooks II, LaFrance Ferguson, Dorsetta Ferguson, Frederica Ferguson, Cynthia Golson, Yulinda Rhodes, Ronald and Shirley Patterson, their families, along with the members of Saint Rest and Tabernacle Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Willie Dawson; son, Louis D. Sanders ("Sambo"); and brother, Ezzie Willis.
She is survived by a son, Willie Gene Jackson (Yolanda) and daughter, Rosalind Dawson; grandchildren, Tyrone, Shawn, Darrell, Cherokista "Kista," Corris, YaShicka, Imade and Antonio; great-grandchildren, Katajah, Sekordnei, Tiara, Antez, Jackson and Mia; and a host of other great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held Friday, June 15, 11 a.m. at St. Rest Baptist Church with the Rev. B.J. Martin, officiating. Interment will follow at Sheppard Street Cemetery. Visitation will be today (Thursday, June 14) from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. in the chapel of Kennon's Mortuary.
Services are entrusted to Kennon's Mortuary. Email condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.