Elmyra Jackson Black

Died: Mon., Apr. 17, 2017


Graveside Service

12:00 PM Fri., Apr. 21, 2017
Location: Swainsboro City Cemetery


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Elmyra Jackson Black, 93, a longtime Swainsboro resident who lived her life in service to others, died Monday, April 17. “I want my days filled with responsive love to people I meet, and I don’t care who or where they are,” she once wrote, explaining her philosophy of life to her family.

Mrs. Black died peacefully in her sleep after an extended illness in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

A graveside service for Mrs. Black will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 12:00 noon at the Swainsboro City Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to the service and then to a reception and celebration of her life at 1:00 pm at the Swainsboro First Baptist Church.

Mrs. Black was a native of Washington County. She and her beloved husband, William H. Black, married in 1947 and moved to Swainsboro in 1948 to open Black’s Pharmacy. She was a member of the First Baptist Church, served on the Church Council and the mission council and taught Sunday school. She was Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) Associational leader and president of a W.M.U. circle which honored her by changing its name to the Elmyra Black WMU Circle.

One of the most satisfying highlights of her life was founding and leading The Friendship Center, an out-of-school time educational program for children and families from lower income Swainsboro communities. With support and help from her wide circle of friends, Mrs. Black opened doors and created opportunities for dozens and dozens of Swainsboro children whom she lovingly referred to as “her friends.”

Over her lifetime, Mrs. Black was president of the PTA, a member of the Arts Council, and active in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  She served as President of the State of Georgia Pharmaceutical Wives Association and was honored by Beta Sigma Phi in 1991 as “Lady of the Year”.

Always full of joy, even in her eighties Mrs. Black enjoyed playing the piano for other residents of Dogwood Forest, her home in Gainesville, Georgia, tubing down the river in Helen and riding the waves at Tybee with her granddaughter Liz.

Mrs. Black was preceded in death by her husband, William H. Black. She is survived by her two daughters, Myra Peabody Gossens of Washington, D.C. and Barbara Spivia (Ed Spivia) of Gainesville, Georgia, and son William H. Black, Jr. of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as well as five grandchildren, Philip Beegle (Jennifer) of Newnan, Brian Beegle of Atlanta, Kevin Jackson Beegle of Gainesville, Elizabeth Gossens of Washington D.C.,  Peter Jackson Gossens of San Francisco, and two great grandchildren, Philip Beegle and Jackson Beegle.  

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Smoky Mountain Resort Ministries, a creative ministry led by Mrs. Black’s son, Bill, that reveals the presence of God in the resort setting of the Smokies. (SMRM, PO Box 114, Gatlinburg, TN 37738)

Durden Hudson Funeral Directors is in charge of local arrangements.

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Condolence Booklet

Cindy Black
   Posted Tue April 18, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Elmyra was a GRAND LADY OF THE SOUTH!!
Cindy Black

Juanita Alford
   Posted Tue April 18, 2017
My thoughts and prayers for you Myra and all your family. Your mother was a dear lady that will be missed by so many. Truly a life to be celebrated!

Dorothy Larimer
   Posted Wed April 19, 2017
Myra & family~

I am so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. Please know that I carry you all in my heart and in my prayers.

Marilyn Freeman Dailey Vaughan
   Posted Wed April 19, 2017
Sure was sorry to hear about Mrs. Elmyra. She was such a sweet lady. My condolences to all of you.

Jean Clifton
   Posted Thu April 20, 2017
With deepest sympathy, keeping you in my prayers

William (Pete) & Delois Jenkins
   Posted Fri April 21, 2017
With our deepest sympathy. Thinking of your family.

Fannie Jenkins' Children- Dorothy, Judy, Pete
   Posted Fri April 21, 2017
Our deepest sympathy.