Helen Jackson, 85, made her transition on June 1, 2020, at the Lincolnshire Health Care Center in Merrillville, Ind.
Helen was born April 27, 1935, in Blytheville, to Hattie (Early) and Isaiah Okemos Jackson. Helen was the youngest of five siblings. She was baptized at an early age at Pleasant Ridge Missionary Baptist Church in the Number Nine community in Arkansas. Helen loved singing opera. She graduated from Richard B. Harrison High School in 1954 with honors and received a recommendation to attend the Arkansas Agriculture, Mechanical and Normal (AM&N) College in Pine Bluff because of her prima donna status in opera under Maestra Buzzy. She married Benny L. Smith. Helen moved to Gary, Ind., shortly after graduation. She transferred her church membership to the 20th Century Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. E.B. Joyner. Helen attended Odessa’s College of Beauty Culture and received her credentials in cosmetology. She worked as a licensed cosmetologist until her retirement. She worked at Odessa’s Beauty Salon on Broadway for many years. In her spare time, Helen loved to knit, volunteer with the AMVETS and fellowship with her family and friends. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, parents and beloved sisters Rosalee, Prentiss and Vergie Lee Jackson of Blytheville and Verneita McClatchey of Gary, Ind. Her beautiful life will forever be cherished by her brother Lucious (Ruby) Jackson of Lansing, Mich., a host of nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews and special nephew Gentry McClatchey of Merrillville, Ind.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date which will be announced. Condolences may be sent to Guy & Allen Funeral Directors at 2959 West 11th Avenue, Gary, Ind. 46404.