As we retrace the footprints of Essie Marie Tate Jackson, we can only give thanks for the many lives she touched and enriched along her life’s journey.
Essie began her journey of life on December 29, 1937, in Gum Springs, Arkansas. She was the eighth of 14 children born to Mr. Jay Lee and Mrs. Elnora Anderson Tate. At an early age, she made a personal decision to accept Christ as her personal Lord and Savior at St. Ruth Baptist Church in Gum Springs.
As a girl, Essie proved to be personable, full of life, and had an outgoing personality. Essie grew up to be a loving, fun-spirited, and intelligent young lady. She enjoyed having a good time hanging with family and friends while enjoying listening to the blues. Her friends and family will remember her as always having a keen sense of fashion. She loved beautiful jewelry, hats, purses, clothes, and shoes.
Essie later married the love of her life, Sammy Houston “Speedy” Jackson on April 5, 1960. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward” (NKJV). The Lord blessed Essie with a healthy boy, Richard, whom she loved and nurtured immensely, taking her role as a mother as her most prized attribute. She worked hard and made many sacrifices to take care of her family. Her son was her pride and joy. She taught him to respect himself and to follow the golden rule –“Treat others as you would want to be treated.”
Essie was a dedicated employee of Levi Strauss until the company was relocated out of state. She later found her passion and began working with homebound and elderly patients with Clark County Health Unit in Arkadelphia – Home Health Agency and also doing private care. She possessed a nurturing and loving spirit that transcended her job title. She always went above and beyond her job and made her patients feel loved and cared for.
During all of her 85 seasons, Essie made friends regardless of race, gender, faith, or creed. She freely offered wise counsel, gave generously to those in need, and inspired everyone who crossed her path. Family, as well as friends, will miss her sense of humor, smile, and love, but will never forget Essie’s spirit and compassion. She was welcomed to her eternal home by her parents, Jay Lee and Elnora; her husband Samuel “Speedy”; six brothers, J.L. Tate, David Lee Tate, James Tate, Samuel Tate, Willie Lee Tate and Oliver Tate; and two sisters, Mary Francis Mitchell and Ella Neal.
She leaves to celebrate and honor her life’s journey: her son, Richard Brim of Gum Springs; two granddaughters that she loved and adored, Kimberly (Dexter) Smith of Kansas City, Kansas, and Tracee (Christopher) Ford of Kansas; four great-grandchildren, Mackenzie Noel Ford, Christopher Brayden Ford, Isaiah Grayson Ford and Kai Deyunn Smith; four sisters, Laura Tate of Gum Springs; Gertha Duncan of Mt. Pine; Dorothy Butler of Dallas, Texas, and Elverna Tate of Los Angeles, California; one brother Donald (Debra) Tate of Los Angeles, California; one stepbrother, Meldine (Brenda) Ivory of Gum Springs; one stepsister, Carolyn Owens of North Little Rock; six sisters-in-law, Annie M. Tate, Shirley P. Tate, Lorece Sue Muldrew, Joyce Harrington Jackson, Betty Box and JoAnne Smith; five brothers-in-law, Percy (Sydney) Jackson, Dan Jackson, Alfonso Jackson, Jerry (Barbara) Jackson and Arthur Gatlin; two very special friends, Pearl Davis and Dorothy Lister; and a host of “special” nieces and nephews, relatives, friends, and the St. Ruth Missionary Baptist Church family.
Visitation will be Friday, November 25, 2022, from 1-7 p.m. and the family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home. The homegoing service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 26, at St. Ruth Baptist Church with Rev. Jamal Brown, the eulogist. Interment will be at St. Clair Cemetery-Burtsell.
Pallbearers will be her great-nephews, Vickiel Vaughn, Demone Gillette, Jerry Harvell, Jordan Gillette, Jakolbhi Gillette, Glenn Hill Drew Hill, Samyon Hill, and Jeremy Roden. Honorary pallbearers will be Donald Tate, Meldine Ivory, Kai D. Smith, Dexter D. Smith, Christopher R. Ford, Christopher B. Ford, and Isaiah G. Ford. Her nieces and great-nieces will serve as floral escorts.
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