Halestine Lou Ella Jackson Session, the daughter of the late Boykin Jackson and Emma Peterson Jackson, was born July 12, 1932, in Hartsville, South Carolina. She was one of nine children born to this union and joined eight half-siblings.
Halestine accepted Christ at an early age and joined Centerville AME Church in Hartsville, South Carolina. She attended Hartsville schools through the 12th grade. She graduated from Centerville High School in Hartsville, South Carolina, and enrolled at Allen College in Columbia, South Carolina. While there, she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and met the love of her life, David Session.
On December 29, 1953, David and Halestine were united in marriage. To this union two sons were born: Kendal Maurice Session and the late Darrel Ray Session. Halestine continued her education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, where she received her master’s degree in early education.
Halestine was a Kindergarten teacher at Washington Elementary in Champaign, Illinois for 26 years. She was beloved by her students, the parents and staff. Beyond many of her students’ formative year with her, Halestine received visits and holiday cards from them, even after they graduated from college. No matter where she went in Champaign, even her weekly breakfast visits to the Pancake House, a former student, parent or colleague approached her with cheerful greetings. The joy of being a teacher shined through her teachings in all capacities of her life as a mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, friend, church member, sorority sister, colleague and neighbor.
In addition to her professional duties, Halestine loved her sorority and was a dedicated member of the Epsilon Epsilon Omega Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and was the recipient of the Winding Ivy Epsilon Epsilon Omega Living Legacy Award. Halestine was also a chartered member of the Champaign County Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). She was a generous woman with a heart for all, young and old.
Halestine was a faithful member of Bethel AME Church for over 50 years where she served in many capacities, including being a Sunday School teacher for over 44 years, served on the Usher Board, member of the Willing Workers & Calendar Girls Clubs, playing an intimate part of reviving the Scholarship Committee, co-chair of the Benevolent Committee and served on the Hospitality Committee.
Halestine was an avid traveler and a faithful Illini fan. She loved to cook and share her famous pound cake and sweet potato pie with anyone that visited. She also mailed them to long distance family members. To this day family members cherish the memories of her dinners, pies, cakes and rolls.
Halestine Lou Ella Session, 88, a loving and giving individual, entered into eternal rest Sunday, April 18, 2021, in Champaign, IL. She joins her husband, David Henry Session and son, Darrell Ray Session (entered eternal rest March 23, 2015, and December 28, 1988, respectively) and leaves son, Kendal Session (Jackie); sister, Cleo Jackson of Hartsville, SC, sister, Betty Parrott of Simpsonville, SC, brother, Leonard Jackson (Sharon) of Glendale, WI; three grandchildren: Miesha Washington (Robert), Courtney Cooper, Erica Davis; six great-grandchildren: Jada, Robert, Zara, Kennedi, Chase, and Savannah; her home care providers; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Halestine was preceded in death by her parents, husband, David Session, son, Darrel Ray Session, sisters: Dozelle Mayshack, Ruthene Bailey, Girlee Cuffie, Helen Hines, Idelia Bess and brothers: Jerry Jackson, Albert Jackson, Cleveland Jackson, Calvin Jackson, W.J. Jackson, Mack Jackson, Boykin, Jr. Jackson and Revennah Jackson.
A Homegoing Celebration will be commence at 12:00 Noon on Wednesday April 28, 2021 at Bethel AME Church, 401 E. Park St., Champaign. Visitation will begin at 11:00 am until the time of the service. Burial will be in Centerville AME Cemetery, Hartsville, S.C.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions will be enforced.
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