Jessie Mae Johnson Walker was born on March 30, 1931 in Harrison County, Texas and reared in Marion County Texas. She was the first daughter and fourth of fifteen children (nine sons and six daughters) born to Jesse Johnson and Lucile Buchanan. She attended school at New Zion and Macedonia in Jefferson, Marion County, Texas. She was reared in the Baptist faith and accepted Christ. She professed her Christian faith in God and joined New Zion Baptist Church at the age of 13 and remained faithful all of her life serving in different capacities.
After completing her high school work, Jessie entered Prairie View A& M College where she received her Bachelors of Science in Education in 1952 and Master Degree in Education in 1958. Jessie was the first in her family to attend college and she knew that education would make a difference for her and her rural community. Jessie’s father died in a car/train wreck while she was at Prairie View A&M College and her mother later remarried Will Henry who loved their entire family. Resiliently, Jessie kept her faith in God knowing she had the strength to motivate and lead. Consequently, she committed to going back to help her siblings get admitted into Prairie View A&M College and lovingly supported them financially. Soon after entering the field of education, she met the love her life, Collis William Walker, Sr. and, they were united in Holy Matrimony on December 27, 1953. Shortly thereafter, Jessie and Collis, Sr. purchased a home and were soon blessed with three sons, Collis William Walker, Jr (Veronica), Terence Dewayne Walker and Victor Donivan Walker (Stephani).
Jessie Mae and her siblings were raised by Godly parents and were fixtures at New Zion Missionary Baptist Church. She loved God and his people and unselfishly gave of her time and finances to the church and the people of her community. Jessie was active in her church having served as a deaconess, church treasurer, church announcer, lead singer of the mass choir and Sunday school teacher during her lifetime. Being born during the 1930s depression era, Jessie was raised in a rural community to know that every family supported and helped each other family. With her love for family and community, she often prepared extra food, cakes and pies for others in the community, often sending her children to deliver items so that her children would understand the concept of giving and supporting their community.
Jessie was also a visionary who could have graduated college and left for the city but knew the rural community where she was raised needed her leadership, educational background and compassion for those who needed a chance to develop educationally and birth greater ambition for themselves, their families and their community. Consequently, at the tender age of 20 years old, but full of fire and hope to improve the educational quality and learning curve of school youth in rural communities, she accepted a teaching career at Jefferson Independent School District where she dedicated the next 39 years of her life (retired in 1996) to educating and challenging students to think out of the box, seek excellence and become all that they could be. Loved by all of her students of all diversities and nationalities, seeing the enjoyment and participation by her students from her creative teaching was the highlight of her school teaching career. Because of her commitment to youth development, her career also included serving as a girls’ basketball coach, as well as, exposing students to the arts and school theatrical plays. Many of her former students often came back to show appreciation during their college years and even after Jessie retired. Herstudents could always find her because she lived across the street from where she taught and developed each one.
Over the years, Jessie’s love for her Marion County community grew just as strong as her love for teaching the youth. She was a visionary and a leader who rolled up her sleeves, galvanized fellow neighboring members of the community, teachers, clergy and local business owners and established formal social and civic associations. In the late 1960 into the early 1970’s, she co-founded and served as president of the Torch Bears Club, a social and community organization whose mission was to serve the community and provide organized social events and activities. Jessie also served as a former board member of the Marion County Appraisal District, former Member of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce and Voter Registration Poll volunteer. Jessie also had a vision and co-founded the Marion County Diversified Civic and Social Concerns Organization (MCDCSCO) in 2003, a nonprofit civic organization dedicated to enhancing the education and welfare of students and furthering community involvement in civic and social issues. Under Jessie’s leadership, MCDCSCO sponsored the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Parade, Youth Program and Educational Scholarship Banquet while actively serving as a resource and voice for civic improvement and social concerns. Jessie joyfully served as president of MCDCSCO for the remainder of her life.
While serving as a faithful wife to her husband, Collis, Sr and raising three very energetic and active young boys that she loved dearly, Jessie still found time to serve the community as a licensed notary, engage in renting and remodeling residential properties and she enjoyed oil-based painting where many of her paintings were entered into county fairs, celebrated as artwork hung inside churches or in the homes of personal friends and relatives. After Jessie’s first husband died in May 1982, she later remarried Reverend Luther Brooks, Jr. in December 1989 which ended in divorce in 1995 but they remained friends until Reverend Brooks death in June 2006. Jessie Mae Walker lived her life to the fullest, gave her energy and resources to others and never met a person she did not enjoy fellowshipping with or try to find out how she could serve them.
Jessie Mae Walker transitioned for her heavenly wings on October 13, 2021 and was preceded in death by her parents, Jessie Johnson, Will Henry and Lucile Buchanan Henry; two husbands Collis William Walker, Sr. and Reverend Luther Brooks, Jr.; four brothers, Frederick Henry, Raymond Johnson, Obie Johnson, and Fletcher Johnson; one sister, Zillary Johnson Bowser Easter; and two grandchildren, Collis William Walker, III and Terence Dewayne Walker, Jr. Those who live to cherish her memory and emulate her life are her three children, Collis William Walker, Jr. (Veronica), Terence Dewayne Walker, Sr. and Victor Donivan Walker (Stephani); five brothers, Lynwood R. Johnson, Sr, Isaac Johnson (Narvell), James Johnson (Mildred), Rayford Johnson (Lois) and Charles Johnson; four sisters, Helen Johnson Palmer Shaw (Luther), Gladys Johnson Jenkins, Lola Johnson Pullum and Gloria Johnson Taylor Kennard; many grandchildren including, Demontae Lane, Cory Walker, Terencia Walker, Victor Donivan Walker, II, and Kennedi Elise Walker and many great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces cousins, godchildren and many friends.
Funeral services for Mrs. Jessie Mae Walker, 90, of Jefferson, Texas will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 11:00am at the Jefferson Junior High School Auditorium
and there will be a public visitation Friday, October 22, 2021 from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at Lewis & Walker Funeral Home.
Mrs. Jessie Mae Walker was born March 30, 1931 and passed away October 13, 2021
In lieu of sending flowers , a donation to Mrs. Walker's favorite charitable organization, MCDCSCO, would be a blessing.
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