Editor, The family of the late Mrs. Jackie Gilliard-Henderson would like to thank the community for the outpouring of love and support during our time of bereavement. Our mother was a simple country girl who raised her family in the Rebecca Street Housing Projects. (She later lived and died at her home on Azalea Street.) She touched the lives of so many people and was loved by all because she gave of herself. (She had a heart of gold as the SRO crowds at the wake and funeral can attest.) We want to thank those who came from far and near to be with us. Thanks for the sympathy cards, flowers, food, sodas and bottled water, phone calls, text messages, e-mails, hugs, kisses, handshakes and love. Thanks to the elected officials (local and state) for their friendship and support.
She took her last breath early Tuesday morning, Feb. 22, and the word got out faster than a story on CNN and helped make for a weeklong celebration that turned into Hinesville’s version of Mardi Gras. (There were SRO crowds on AZ as well.) Special thanks to the Mt. Zion and First Calvary Church families. These two churches combined and worked together to give our mother a farewell like no other. (Thanks, Pastor Jackson and Pastor Thorne.) Thanks to Mrs. Edna Mae Miller (Miller Funeral Home) and my dear friend Reggie Pierce (Dorchester Funeral Home). Not only did the churches work together, so did these two funeral directors. (Mama always had a way of bringing people together.)
We (along with the community) will miss our mama (there’s a difference between a mama and a mother), but we know she’s in a better place. We take solace in knowing that she lived a good life and left a legacy for others to emulate.
Mrs. Jackie was living proof that something good can come from government housing, and she was living proof that Azalea Street isn’t all bad. In the words of my friend Pastor M.L. Jackson, “Goodbye to an elect lady.” (RIP, Mama!)
— The Gilliard family