We celebrate the life and memory of Hattie Mae Kittles Jenkins whose death occurred on Friday, January 24, 2020 at Memorial Health University Medical Center.
On Christmas Day, December 25, 1927, Hattie Mae Kittles-Jenkins was born in Sylvania, Screven County, Georgia. She was the second of three offspring of the late Ms. Pauline Williams and the late Mr. Sidney Brown, Sr. Her paternal grandparents were the late Ezra Brown and the late Melissa Kittles. Hattie’s Maternal grandparents were the late Willie Mae and the late Samuel G. Williams. From infancy, Hattie’s upbringing was under the wings of her grandmother, Melissa’s brother, and his wife. The great uncle and aunt were Will Capers Kittles and Dessie L. Hunter, who bequeathed upon Hattie, the family’s last name, and loved and regarded her as a daughter.
Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Hattie grew up in a home governed by conviction in the golden rule of Christianity. The Kittles patriarch demonstrated his beliefs, exercised leadership among his family and community, and when Hattie was eight years of age, he organized and served as the Grand President of a society called the Charitable Christian Union. Undoubtedly impacted by a benevolent foundation, Hattie spent her life as a welcoming, compassionate, and loving individual, always ready to be a friend and a help to others.
Believe in yourself. Learn and never stop wanting to build a better world.
~Mary McCleod Bethune
Hattie attended Screven County segregated schools. She loved and appreciated learning and proved to be a bright student. A memory often shared was her participation and delight in winning a county-wide spelling bee competition. Hattie reported that when she graduated from Screven County Training School (formerly called the Screven County High and Agricultural School and later changed to Central High School), she held the highest academic achievements among her classmates. After high school, Hattie’s curiosity and intellectual interest flourished. She sought opportunities to continue her education and training, first as a beautician and later in evolving positions in the healthcare profession as an EKG Technician at Candler Hospital. Moreover, she persisted in acting on the legacy passed to her, devoting a considerable measure of her time to charitable and Christian community endeavors.
Job 22:22 Please receive instruction from His mouth. And establish His words in your heart.
Following her family tradition, Hattie became a devoted member of the Goloid United Methodist Church, in Sylvania, Georgia. Church membership provided spiritual comfort and was critical to forming a sense of community and stability, the center of everything
for her. Years later, Hattie joined countless relatives, resettled from Sylvania to Savannah, for prayer and worship at Palen United Methodist Church. Palen was her most prolonged and active church affiliation, where she took on a variety of dedicated leadership roles for local, state, and national missions. When the parishioners merged with members of Canaan Community United Methodist Church, Hattie joined, too. She grew older, became limited immobility, and unable to attend church service, but she was always present in mind, heart, and spirit and continued as a dutiful tither. Hattie read and delighted in God’s word. She was diligent about her bible study, partaking in spiritual nourishment as her morning meditation everyday and sometimes throughout the day.
She moved to Savannah, Chatham County, GA, in 1946, at age 18. On October 23, 1946, she married Mr. Felix Jenkins, a native of Screven County GA, who retired as a cement finisher from Union Camp Corporation, American pulp, and paper company. The marriage took place in the parsonage of St. James AME Church, Savannah, GA, Rev C. K. Knight, presiding; Margaret Willis (friend of the bride) and Meshach Robinson (1st cousin of the groom) were witnesses. Hattie and Felix were married for almost two decades. He preceded her in death. She acquired a 74-year tenure as a resident of Savannah, living first, with Felix and then on her own among neighborhoods of E Waldburg St, Nicole, and New Castle Street.
Previous to Hattie's death was that of her birth and adoptive parents. The passing of siblings, Sidney Brown, Jr., and Reather Bernice Roberts-Cooper, also preceded her. Mattie Lee Kittles, the youngest daughter of Will Capers and Dessie, and two nieces, Linda Gail Dawson and Yvette McFadden.
Hattie leaves to treasure her memory one brother, James Nathaniel Hampton, son of Pauline and Sidney, Sr., Queens, New York; a step-daughter, Evelyn Stephenson; and nieces and nephews: Beverly Brown, Atlanta, GA; Cheryl Brown, Anthony Brown, James Lamont Brown, Larry Brown, and Marshall McFadden, all of Savannah, GA; James Hampton, Jr. of Brooklyn, New York; Jacqueline Foster (Jamel Shabazz) of Long Island, New York; John “Skip” Wallace (Wanda), Port St. Lucie, Florida; Florine Moore-Payne, New Castle, Delaware; Lisa D. Cooper, Conyers, Georgia, Yvette Cooper-Sullivan (Ricky), Smyrna, Delaware; Deborah Cooper-Shelton (Joseph), Newark, Delaware; Collette Williams (Ricky), of Durham, NC, and the daughter of Mattie Lee Kittles, Ernestine Roberson.
Funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 1, 2020 at
Canaan Community United Methodist Church
2401 Elgin St. ~ Savannah, GA
Pastor Franklin D. Fletcher, Officiating
Interment ~ Laurel Grove Cemetery
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