Obituary of Idella Jackson
On Tuesday, August 1, 2023, surrounded by family, Idella Jackson removed her earthly raiment for her heavenly garment and exchanged this life for eternity.
Born February 17, 1941, Idella Jackson (Tucey as she was fondly known) became the seventh of fourteen children born to the late Ledell Jackson and Daisy Mae Bush Jackson of Butler, Alabama. Known for her intellect and no-nonsense approach to life, Idella accomplished an important family milestone in 1960 by becoming the first of the fourteen children to graduate high school.
Upon graduation from Choctaw County Training School, Idella attended Laverne College for cosmetology; however, her dream of becoming a cosmetologist was interrupted when her father suffered a massive stroke. As was her nature, Tucey made the selfless decision to help her mother support the family by finding a more stable source of income. With the help of her sister, Catherine (Jackson) McNeil, she obtained employment at Mobile General Hospital, where she met her husband, James Wesley Jackson. The couple wed on August 3, 1962. Following her husband's enlistment in the United States Army, the couple's travels led them to California following his discharge. Idella and James were parents to five children – Orlando Reginald Jackson, Merrier (Larry) Antoinette Jackson Tartt (Bonaire, GA), James (Antoinette) Wesley Jackson, Jr. (Lancaster, CA), Fontella Jackson, and Arlene Mechele Jackson (Long Beach, CA).
Idella began employment at Headstart in 1967 as a cook, and by 1973, she was a teacher and quickly advanced to Head Teacher and Instructor. Idella also continued her education and received an Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education in June 1975. She also assisted other educators entering the field by serving as a Mentor Teacher for the California Early Childhood Mentor Teacher Program.
Following the separation from her husband, Idella, determined to provide for her children, returned to Mobile, Alabama, in 1978 and worked for 11 years at Toulminville Warren Street United Methodist Church Daycare before returning to California in 1991 and resuming her career with Charles R. Drew Project Headstart. After 21 years of combined service, Idella retired as Site Director from Headstart in 2001.
Idella was baptized by Bishop James Mims in 1969 at the Household of God Bibleway Church in Compton, California. She was a member of Community Church – God in Christ in Prichard, AL, and Toulminville Warren Street United Methodist Church in Mobile, AL. In 2002, she became a member of Faith Inspirational Church under Pastor Rafer Owens, Sr.'s tutelage, and served as a faithful member until her illness. As a beloved member, Idella served as the President of the Young at Heart (YAH) seniors ministry, where she implemented the Young at Heart Scholarship, which provided four scholarships annually to graduating seniors. Under her leadership, YAH also began the food basket giveaway for Thanksgiving. She was also instrumental in transforming the annual YAH Christmas party into a formal groove fest. Through her wisdom, Idella used the YAH members' expertise and knowledge as a catalyst to keep seniors active and involved.
Her experience with cancer was transformative and gave her a unique perspective on the role of faith and science in defeating cancer. Having beaten cancer twice, she initiated the Faith Inspirational Church Cancer
Support Group. Idella used this platform to ensure that cancer patients and their caregivers had support from cancer survivors.
Always the consummate educator, Idella went back to her true love – molding the young minds of children as she worked faithfully to revitalize the Faith Inspirational MBC Vacation Bible School in 2012 by adopting a curriculum, recruiting and training teachers, canvasing the community for students to attend, and partnering with other community outreach programs to provide free lunches.
Idella leaves to cherish her memory seven grandchildren: Antoine Law, Fontella Jackson, Jasmyn Gipson, Orlando Jackson, Kianna Jackson, Jilyssa Coffee-Jackson, and Evan James; several great-grandchildren; a Goddaughter, Tracy Smiley; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Idella was preceded in death by her husband, James Wesley Jackson, Sr; two children, Fontella Jackson and Orlando Jackson; her parents, Daisy Mae Bush Jackson and Ledell Jackson, JoAnn Jackson (sister), Green Jackson (brother), Jessie Pearl Jackson Henderson (sister) Charlie Jackson (brother), Annie Jackson Swope (sister), English Jackson (brother), Alma Jackson Smith (sister), Catherine Jackson McNeil (sister), and Robert Jackson, Sr. (brother).
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Faith Inspirational Church, 357 E Palmer Street, Compton, CA 90221. Senior Pastor Reverend Rafer Owens will officiate the services. The service will be live-streamed using the following link below:To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Idella Jackson, please visit Tribute Store