Ruth Naomi Daniels- Jackson, 103, departed from this earthly life on Monday, October 30, 2023, following an illness.
She was born November 20, 1919 in Shutts, LA (now Fort Polk) to the union of her parents, Irene Williams and Sam Daniels.
Ruth was the second of eight children; at the age of seven, she moved from Oakdale to LaSalle Parish to live with her grandparents, Idalia and Leonard Dixon, who she called Grandma and Poppa. Ruth attended school in the LaSalle Parish Negro School System at the Rosenwald School in Trout until the age of 13. In her late 20’s, she continued her education in night school and received her certificate.
Ruth joined the Bethel CME and was a faithful and active member for over 70 years ago. She also served as a Sunday School superintendent, usher, board president, church treasurer, mission president, stewardess and trustee. Upon Bethel’s closing, Ruth moved her membership to L&A Missionary Baptist Church where she continued to serve faithfully as the women’s mission ministry chaplain, attended Sunday School, Sunday services and Bible class. Ms. Ruth was the oldest member of L&A and was recognized as one of the “Pearls of Wisdom.” She was also committed to community service and was a member of the Jena Florist Club, a quilting club and missions service. She was also a member of the Oriole Chapter #18 Eastern Star and served as the treasurer.
From an early age, Ruth worked as a domestic. She also held the job of matcher for the Arkansas Oak Lumber Mill making ammunition boxes for the war. In the late 1940’s, she began working for Bob Owens’ family as a domestic and caretaker, where she retired after 43 years of service.
Ruth was the mother of one child, James “Bubba” Dixon, who preceded her in death.
In 1951, Ruth and Taft “Pete” Jackson began a relationship that developed into a lifelong commitment. They were married on November 19, 1958, and remained together until his passing on October 12, 2017. Through this union, Ruth gained a daughter, Ella Jane Valley and another granddaughter, Carla Valley.
Ruth was all about relationships, and family was at the top of her list. She was affectionately endeared the name “Nanie” by her nieces and nephews. Most of her nieces, nephews and many in the community have a “Nanie story” that they carry proudly. She was a pivotal product to the upbringing of many of her older nieces and nephews by standing in the gap during difficult seasons. The house on the corner was the center of family and friends gatherings. Many holidays, festivities and game nights were celebrated there. She loved dominoes!
Ruth was always on the go. Her favorite pastime outside of church was fishing and traveling. She joined a women’s senior group with her sister- in-law, Anna Bell Smith (deceased), in Beaumont, TX, and they traveled to places like Mexico, California, Illinois, Texas and they also visited the White House.
A great deal of downtime was spent on the banks of a lake or river. Ruth could spend hours fishing with family and friends, and with excitement, describe how many and large the brim she caught the length of her hand.
At the age of 100, Ruth was interviewed by a local newspaper and there she mentioned that the biggest change she has witnessed in her life was technology. Her favorite song was “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone” and her favorite scripture was in Psalm 27. “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
She lived an independent life on that same corner in Goodpine with the aid of her niece and caregiver Susan Griffin. Ruth “Nanie” Jackson lived a purpose-driven life. She made every moment count and counted every moment.
Services were held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 11, 2023, at L & A Baptist Church in the Goodpine Community with the Rev. Chauncey Hardy officiating.
Interment followed in the Webster Cemetery under the direction of Gayden Funeral Home in Jena.
She was preceded in death by her parents; grandparents; husband, Taft “Pete” Jackson; son, James “Bubba” Dixon; and daughter, Ella Jane Valley.
Those left to cherish her memory include her granddaughters, Veronica Wall, Raleigh, NC and Carla Valley, Los Angeles, CA; niece and caregiver, Susan Griffin, Jena; nephews and caregivers, Lawrence Crumpton, Monroe, LA and Robert Walker, Jena; niece, Irene Jackson, Chicago, IL; and a host of other nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Pallbearers were her nephews and flower bearers were her nieces.
Honorary pallbearers were Curling Brinson, Willie J. Brinson, Wiley Dean, Alton Dozier, Damin Dozier, Rev. Chauncey Hardy, Wayne Howard, Anthony Jackson, Bobby Jackson, Billy Johnson, Samuel Nesby, Rickey Parker, Bobby Purvis, Ben Reid and George Stewart.