Mother Florida Mae Victoria Reid Jackson
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” - Proverbs 31:30
It has been proven time and again that the authentic essence of a fearless woman is in fact a combination of very rare and organic ingredients. She is relentlessly protective of her own while simultaneously concerned about the masses. With laser-like focus, she nurtures those of both her own blood and from her own block. This daring woman is unmoved by imminent threats or impending danger. When attempting to describe the guiding motivation of a strong woman, author, Gina Carey concludes, “A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.” Born on February 5, 1931 in the heart north central Florida by way of Columbia County, Florida Mae Victoria Reid Jackson was born to the parentage of Elder John Henry and Georgia Elizabeth Reid. As her name depicts, Florida, was indeed a blossoming ‘flower’ in the lives of her family, friends, extended family in addition to the brief and random relationships she developed throughout her lifetime. Affectionately known as ‘Tiny’ (her twin sister, Georgia Mae was lovingly tabbed, ‘Chuck’) by her family, Florida’s patented commitment to each and everyone in her life is what defined her without fail. Young Florida began her matriculation through the Columbia County School District despite the racial and economic pitfalls of her day. Despite the looming potential for conflict, danger, and discouragement, she faithfully attended school, even completing the 9th grade until a climate of racial animus precluded her from completing her prep school studies. Florida’s fortitude and commitment to service is a character trait she readily and consistently exhibited through her work ethic. As a cafeteria cook at the historic Orchard Villa Elementary School and a dedicated fifteen-year employee of the Miami Dade County Public School System, Florida labored to ensure that those whom she and her co-workers served were treated with compassion, dignity, and respect. Obituary Mother Florida Mae Victoria Reid Jackson Her encouragement and empowerment of the youngest and defenseless among us was often manifested through a kind word or deed as she interacted weekly with hundreds of children who looked forward to seeing her each day. Florida’s loving concern for her young students exceeded the boundaries of work as she often provided a listening ear, comforting their fears, and sharing in their triumphs. Still, Florida recognized that despite her many accomplishments in the workplace, her life would be incomplete without an unshakable God foundation. She was not only concerned with the growth and maturation of her physical person but was equally concerned about her spiritual growth and development. Having accepted Christ as a child, Florida freely gave of her time, talents, and treasure to her church. She and her family were longtime congregants of the Church of God by Faith, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Desirous to follow a path to spiritual growth, God led Florida’s parents to establish a longstanding presence in their church ministry thus bolstering its work through dedicated and unyielding service to its congregants and the community in which it resided. Through Florida’s efforts, many lives were reclaimed for Christ and placed on a path of sacred productivity and accomplishment. After what seemed like an eternity of service at the church of her childhood and a portion of her adult years, Florida submitted to God’s ministry will for her life and connected with the New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International as an inaugural member. Under the steady and visionary pastoral headship of Bishop Victor T. Curry, Florida continued her committed ministry endeavors as a dutiful and committed member of both the Wisdom Choir and Pastor’s Esteem Ministry. Florida’s proverbial “happy place” was in fact not just one, but several places. Truth be told, she beamed with joy and excitement each year as she routinely traveled for 6 months to visit her siblings throughout Florida in Daytona, Gainesville and Orlando. Those visits instantly brought smiles to their faces and warmth to their hearts and often resulted in thrift shopping and joyful conversations accented with precious memories and uncontrollable laughter. It is noteworthy that Florida’s extraordinary culinary skills were unmatched and like clockwork never disappointed when accompanied by her trademark smile. Content with God’s pledge to send her a mate, Florida wed Orlando Jackson on Monday, August 15, 1955, a union from which eight vibrant, successful, and loving children emanated during a nearly fifty-year marital union. On July 02, 2020, Florida answered God’s call to climb Jacob’s ladder, leaving behind the pains, sorrows, and disappointments of the world. She quickly moved from time to eternity, there to claim her eternal rest. Florida is now reunited in heaven with her parents, Elder John Henry and Georgia Elizabeth Reid, sisters; Alma Reid Daymon Merricks, Georgia Etta Reid, twin sister and best friend, Georgia Mae Reid McKnight, Mildred Reid Postell, brothers; John “JD” Reid, Clifford “Perk” Reid, John Henry Reid, Jr. Earl Reid, Elder Timothy “Buster” Reid, Leroy Reid, Frank Reid, daughter, Beverly Jackson and best friends: Thelma Johnson and Norma Jean Griffin. Florida also leaves precious memories to be pondered by her surviving loved ones including sister and brother; Wilma Reid Camps and Willard Reid, daughters; Brenda Jackson and Orlinda Jackson, sons; Donnelle Jackson, Orlarry Jackson (Gabrielle), Orlando Jackson, Jr., Oliver Jackson, and Otis Jackson. An assortment of other nieces, nephews, grandchildren, in addition to a host of other innumerable sorrowing relatives, loved ones, church members, friends, and well-wishers are saddened by her loss but also simultaneously celebrate her life. Florida was indeed encouragement personified and she possessed the greatest capacity to extend both forgiveness and compassion no matter the recipient. It was because of her uncommon spiritual disposition and unconditional love for all that so many flocked to be in her presence. Her desire to be actively involved in God’s perfect will for her life has been memorialized in her very own words. When in private conversation with God, she was always known to adoringly request, “God, whatever you’re doing in this season, don’t leave me out.” Florida, rest in heavenly peace.
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