Our Grand Elder

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There is a blessing that every family is privy to when its elders are with us. Their connections to our past, and their unique perspectives informed by a wealth of life experience should be celebrated and cherished. Charlotte Jackson has the honor and distinction of being the most senior member of the Stirrup family. Her warmth, easy manner, and loving way is a joy to be around.

Now retired, as a dedicated regional librarian in the Los Angeles Public Library system, AFRICAN AMERICAN LIBRARIANS IN THE FAR WESTshe devoted her professional life to the imparting of one of the core Stirrup Family Values–EDUCATION. She served with such distinction that she is mentioned in the book, African-American Librarians in the Far West. Helping young people develop an appreciation for the value of life-long reading and learning was a true passion of hers. The Charlotte Jackson Research & Learning Portal is an ongoing tribute to the work Charlotte dedicated her life to. An avid Scrabble player, any family member will tell you that you challenged her to a game at your own peril.

Who better to share with us how very special Charlotte is than her children.


Charlotte Dean Jackson: Straight out of Coconut Grove

At 93 years old our mother is the oldest member of the Stirrup family. Born to Frederick Douglas Dean and Kate Stirrup Dean on September 12, 1922, this beautiful lady grew into a fantastic mother, regional librarian, grandmother, and superstar of the gym. She can ride a stationary bike, lift weights, and truly walk the walk three times a week with her personal trainer. She is one of the sweetest members of the family and always takes time to listen and send out positive thoughts to each family member. Mommy maintains an active social life, and attends church regularly at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Compton. She enjoys her card playing diva club, and she is always out and about with retired librarian friends.

Important to Mom is her sorority, and she stays quite active with the Theta Alpha Omega Chapter (Long Beach, California) of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc. Mommy is  is a golden soror. She was initiated in PI chapter at Fisk University over 70 years ago! Mom reads the newspaper every day, and listens to both local and national news. Mommy is the person who takes pride in the success of her children: No matter what! As long as they have a good character–Momma is good with that.

Mommy is not materialistic but she knows how to handle money. She is generous to her children, her grandchildren, her church, and her adopted children–most of whom are Margaret’s students at Pathway Independent Study High School in Lynwood, California. She assists students with scholarships and additional supplies they require.  The students at Pathway call mommy “Grandmother” as she attends each Christmas party and joyously celebrates with the students.

Mommy enjoys reading and listening to books on tape. Two recently read books include the autobiography of Harry Belafonte–and contemporary “Hunger Games”–which at the moment has her rather captivated. Mom is a comforting individual, who is never one to judge. She is humble, smart, humorous, and mellow. She loves sweets especially ice cream and mangoes!! She is fond of her cat Breezy, who spends the days with her– as well as her traveling Yorky Binkie-Hawthorne.

Mom is not petty or superficial.  She is happy with the accomplishments she has made: getting accepted to law school at Boston University but choosing to get married instead; attending Fisk University as well as Atlanta University and receiving an MA in Library science; becoming a regional librarian of Los Angeles and in charge of nine libraries as well as two bookmobiles that she helped to create in the inner city and San Fernando Valley.

Mom’s family is so important to her. She loves her sister Dazelle, The closeness between the two of them is something our family truly admires. She loves her kids Elizabeth, Margaret, Paula, and Paul, her grand children Katelyn, Kyra, and Morgan, and her daughter-in-law Amy.  She also loves everyone of you: family, cousins, nephews, nieces. brother-in-law, and friends.

She is California cool, and one of LA’s finest–not only in looks, but in integrity, character, and intelligence. She is prideful, caring, and liberal. She is old school with flair and grace. She is straight out of Coconut Grove by way of Compton, and Carson – and she keeps us inspired to keep going and going. She is a shining star of our family – right here on earth!

Lovingly submitted by by Margaret (chief author), Elizabeth (typist and editor),and Paula (fact-checker!)–with a special shout out to Gary for making this happen!

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