DEACONESS CLAUDINE BROWN JACKSON CHATMAN, was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1938 to the union of the Late Henry Douglas and Bertha L. Jefferson Brown in Granada, Mississippi. She was educated in the Amarillo, Texas School District and graduated Salutatorian from the Carver High School in 1958. She met and married her high school sweetheart, Collis Wayne Jackson -he the captain of the Carver football team, she the Marching Band Drum Majorette - and from that union two sons were born. She accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of that city.
Since the age of 9, she knew exactly what her gift was; SEWING; and she knew exactly what her life’s calling was: EDUCATION. Her mother successfully sued the public school system to have her attend Amarillo Public Schools. After high school, she graduated from Amarillo College with an Associate Degree in Education, and went on to matriculate at Prairie View A & M College (now University), where she traveled extensively with the college choir. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics and immediately returned to her high school alma mater to teach alongside her mentor. Sometime during her tenure in Amarillo, she participated in a Texas Department of Education survey which solicited input from educators across several disciplines regarding the design of a state of the art secondary school building. She submitted her ideas for a Home Economics dept., and when the building was finished, she and her mentor traveled to Midland, Texas to tour the new facility. It wasn’t until she toured the building that she discovered that the former confederate State of Texas, during the turbulent 60’s, had actually used her design for a state of the art Home Economics department at that facility…and did not credit her at all!
Soon after that, the opportunity came to take a position in the Cleveland Public Schools system. She took the opportunity and soon moved her two boys to Cleveland, Ohio, a strong teacher union city at the time. During her tenure at John F Kennedy High School, she immediately became well known for her unusual sewing abilities; constructing elaborate dresses and other garments from scratch, and tailoring them to the young ladies and gentlemen she served. She could literally sew anything! Very often she stayed up well into the night for prom and after prom season! She became known as “the prom dress lady!” This came in handy for proms, community style and fashion shows, arts and craft shows, and even her own family’s wardrobes. She was known to be able to take a pattern, go to the fabric store, compile the materials, and put them together in record time. IT WAS HER PASSION until she was physically unable to do so! She would return to Prairie View to earn her Master of Education degree. But her endeavors did not stop there! She eventually developed grant writing skills and funded several citywide initiatives out of JFK, including a grant from the late Al Lerners MBNA bank to facilitate a citywide STOP THE VIOLENCE rally, to name only one. Throughout her life, she never lost focus on the centrality of her role as mother!
Upon moving to Cleveland she originally joined the Antioch Baptist Church, where she was a faithful member of the Sanctuary Choir. Raised in a devout Baptist household, she would eventually serve as the Director of Christian Education, introducing many innovative programs to the church. She eventually heard a young Morehouse Man conduct a revival at Antioch named Rev. Otis Moss, Jr. She was blown away to say the least! After that same young man was installed as Pastor down the street, it was only a matter of time before she followed. It was at Olivet where she rediscovered love with the late Deacon Ervin Chatman, and they were united in Holy Matrimony and became an active Deaconess in various ministries. Her love for family was unmatched and unfailing. She not only vigorously supported her family, but was also a very Godly Proud Mother and Mother-In-Love to her sons, daughter-in-love, and grandchildren, and often celebrated and broadcast their achievemants.
After a long and productive life, and after a protracted battle with major illnesses, on Friday, September 6, 2013, God said, “THAT’S ENOUGH!” She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, a brother, two husbands, and a son. She leaves to celebrate her life her son, The Elder Cedric DT Jackson Sr., daughter-in-love, Evangelist Linda J. Jackson, stepdaughter and son-in-law, Deacon and Deaconess Eric and Donna Murdock and family, grandchildren and Cleveland Heights High honor graduates Jeanniece Jackson(John Carroll University MBA graduate student), Cedric Jackson, Jr.(John Carroll University graduating senior), Carlin Jackson (Case Western Reserve University advanced junior) all of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, cousin/”brother” Charles B. Miller and family, cousin Leon Brown and family, nieces Natalye Henderson of Houston, TX, and Jennifer Brown of Arizona, and a host of other family, friends, church members, and fellow retired educators. WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Memorial Services were held at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio on Friday, September 13, 2013. The Reverend Dr. Jawanza K. Colvin, Senior Pastor Officiated and Eulogized.