Deaconess Ether Rice Jackson, born December 24, 1920 in Packlette, South Carolina, was one of ten children born to the union of Ezell and Lola Gist Rice. Her family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee when she was an infant.
She was united in holy matrimony in 1944 to Benjamin Franklin Jackson, Sr. He preceded her in death in 2005. This union was blessed with one son, Benjamin Franklin Jackson, Jr. who also preceded her in death in 1974.
She was a graduate of Austin High School class of 1941 and a member of the basketball team. She graduated from the Madam CJ Walker School of Cosmetology in Chattanooga and later enrolled in Coopers Institute of Business where she received a certification in Administrative Office Work.
She worked for the Knoxville Opportunities Industrialization Center for over 40 years as executive secretary. She retired and resumed her career in 1990 at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center serving as the secretary. After retiring, she returned to Beck as a volunteer. At the age of 103, after nearly twenty years, she was still volunteering her time in the Research Lab organizing and archiving the obituaries of African Americans in our community.
At 19 years-old, she professed her faith in Jesus Christ and was a faithful and active member of The House of God Church up until her transition. She became an ordained deaconess and was truly a servant of God.
She had a sweet spirit, was a community servant and was the family matriarch that everyone looked to for guidance.
She is preceded in death by her husband, son, and parents.
Her beautiful life will forever be cherished by her siblings: Elizabeth Pinckney, Ozell Thompson, and Enoch Rice; nieces: Betty Rice, Florence Alexander, Naomi Alaji, Lois King, Pamela Pinckney, Diane King, Donna and Barbara Austin; nephews Christopher Pinckney, Tony King and Sonny Jackson; 17 great nieces and nephews, 18 great, great nieces and nephews and 1 great, great, great niece; Church of God Family; Rev. Reneé Kesler, Rev. Kenneth Jones, and Amanda Pittard, and many friends too numerous to mention.
Friday, February 9, 2024, family will receive friends from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with services to follow at The House of God Church, 2334 Parkview Ave. Interment to follow at East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, 5901 Lyons View Pike, Knoxville, TN. Professional services entrusted to Jarnigan & Son Mortuary.