Bertha Virginia (Dawson) Jackson, affectionately known as “Mama”, departed this life on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in her home surrounded by her loving family at the beautifully blessed age of 106.
She was born on September 10, 1915 in Indianola, Mississippi to Mose and Lottie Bell Dawson and was the youngest daughter of 11 children.
In 1938 Bertha married Monroe Ross and to their union six children were born. In 1944 the family relocated from Mississippi to Girard, Ohio.
After the passing of her husband in 1983, Bertha married Ned Jackson who also preceded her in death.
Bertha did day work for several families in Girard and Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to day work, she was also employed at the Mansion Restaurant in the cleaning services department. In the 1970s and 80s, Bertha was a caregiver for friends and family who were unable to drive or do their own shopping.
Bertha was a member of New Hope Baptist Church for more than 40 years. She was a dedicated usher serving in the Senior Usher Ministry for 30 years. Prior to joining New Hope Baptist Church, Bertha attended Olive Grove Baptist church in Indianola, Mississippi; Friendship Baptist in Girard, Ohio and Mount Zion Baptist church in Youngstown, Ohio.
When she wasn’t serving at church, Bertha enjoyed gardening and traveling with her nephew and niece, Rev. James and Polly Dawson, who were local gospel singers. It didn’t matter if it was a trip to California, Arizona or any other city; she was always ready to go. Bertha kept a suitcase packed because she loved to travel to Toledo, Detroit and Chicago to visit family. In addition to gardening and traveling, Bertha also loved to watch football and basketball and her favorite television shows which included Family Feud, American Ninja Warrior, I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show. Listening to gospel music on YouTube and being with family also brought her joy. Bertha was an excellent cook and still assisted with holiday meals until she made her transition.
Bertha was preceded in death by parents, Mose and Lottie Dawson; brothers, Walter, Webster, Zezzie, Louise, Mose, Allen, Robert, Hoover and George Dawson; sisters, Marilee and Doris Dawson; sons, Clifton “Bayboy” and Zezzie “Bo” Ross; granddaughter, Andrea Teague Johnson; grandson, Lewis “Junebug” Ross and great-grandsons, William Bryan Ross II, Kenyata Hackett and Marcus and Maurice Johnson.
Bertha’s legacy will be carried on by her daughters, Lollie Teague, Mary Ross and Juanita Huckleby, all of Youngstown, Ohio; son, Terry Ross of Fort Lee, New Jersey and stepson, Howard Jackson of Youngstown, Ohio; 19 grandchildren, including Elonda (June) Hall of Galloway, Ohio, Tina Brown and Kenneth Ross, of Atlanta, Georgia who she raised as her own; 55 great-grandchildren; 67 great-great-grandchildren and five great-great-great-grandchildren; special cousin, Elzena Langston of Toledo, Ohio and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Special thanks to Darlene Smith Mama’s in-home caregiver for the past eight years.
“Mama” was greatly loved and will always be remembered for her strength, giving spirit and the legacy of love she left behind and for touching each person who knew her in a special way.
Visitation will be Monday, November 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. followed by Celebration of Life services at 11:00 a.m. at New Hope Baptist Church, 437 Albert Street, Youngstown, Ohio. Pastor Kevin Crum, Sr. Officiant.
PLEASE FOLLOW CDC GUIDELINES (6 FOOT RULE) OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEARING YOUR MASK OVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.
Internment Tod Homestead Cemetery.
F. D. Mason Memorial Funeral Home was given the honor to serve the family during this time of bereavement.