Jerlene Wallace passed away on January 29, 2023, at the age of 88. She was born December 10, 1934 to the late Joseph Parker Wilkie and Lois Arlie Hayes Wilkie. She was a loving mom and a mom to everyone who knew her. Emma “Jerlene” Wilkie, was born at Mountain Grove, near Hanceville, Al. at her maternal grandma and grandpa Hays home. Emma, being her grandma’s name. It sleeted and snowed all that day. Jerlene’s older sister, Mavern, was born at the same place, four years earlier. Jerlene had a rich and endearing childhood. Her parents were sharecroppers , who married during the days of the Great Depression. Although she was young she still remembered lots of the hardships brought on by the war days. She especially remembered how they were taught patriotism. And every morning, when they first assembled in school, they had Bible reading and prayer. The most important decision Jerlene made in her life was to accept Christ as her personal savior around 9 years of age. She loved the Lord and was a godly example of a Christian lady, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Jerlene attended Bush School, where she enjoyed violin lessons, and later at Ensley High School, she played violin in the orchestra. Latin, was one of her favorite subjects in high school. After graduating from high school in 1953, Jerlene worked at Ensley Record Shop in Alabama. In her own words, “One day a handsome young gentleman walked in looking for a record for his nephew. Upon seeing her, he laid his military ID down to pay for his purchase and asked her ‘Are you married? I said, ’No.’ ‘Are you engaged?’ I said ’No.' ‘Do you go steady?’ Again, I replied, ’No.’ He promptly said to me, ‘I'm gonna marry you one day.’ I told him, 'you’re crazy!’ But, I did marry him, September 3, 1954 in Columbus, MS., seventeen miles from where the Lord led us to minister to a small band of believers in December 1969. We made West Point our home, lived and worked here and raised two precious children, Pamela and Jimmy." Jim and Jerlene were happily married for 32 years before his passing December 1986. Jim worked at the local hospital as an LPN and pastored a small church, and Jerlene worked at the Bank. They both loved their work and formed many very special, life-long friendships over the years. Jerlene came to be lovingly named and known as “Nini” by her first grandchild, Joel, 41 years ago. And by each grandchild and great-grandchild thereafter. She was dearly and deeply loved by them all, and she returned that love with her whole heart! She was so very proud of each one! She has also enjoyed so many wonderful and memorable occasions and outings with her extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews and their families. She was cherished by all and just a joy to be around. Mom will be so dearly missed, but we are comforted to know without a shadow of a doubt, that we will see her again one day in heaven! She was a member of Trinity Baptist Church where she was the pianist for a number of years until her health declined.
She is survived by her son, Jim Wallace (Teresa) of West Point; 5 Grandchildren, Joel Wallace (Melinda), Ryan Wallace (Ellen), Tiffany Ferrell (Nick), Patrick Culley (Stacey), Maranda Lirette (Wilson); 10 great-grandchildren.
Visitation with family and friends will be 1-2 PM Friday at Robinson Funeral Home. A private family service will follow and interment will take place in Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Training Pastors International PO Box 2135 Grenada, MS 38902. Robinson Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Friends may leave an online condolence to the family at robinsonfh.net.