The Progress-Index Weekend - - OBITUARIES -

Dr. Jim­mie Lorene Nel­son Bat­tle of 20316 Loyal Av­enue, South Ch­ester­field, Va., Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus, Vir­ginia State University, de­parted this life on Satur­day evening, Au­gust 19, 2017, at The Vir­ginian Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity, Fair­fax, Va. Dr. Bat­tle, born in Wau­rika, OK, was one of three daugh­ters and one son born to Mary and James Nel­son. Her early ed­u­ca­tion through high school was in Lo­gan County Ok­la­homa schools. Dr. Bat­tle was the widow of Dr. Huey Jef­fer­son Bat­tle, re­tired Vice Pres­i­dent of Re­search and De­vel­op­ment and Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus at Vir­ginia State University. They met when both were stu­dents at Langston University, Langston, OK, and mar­ried in 1942.

Dr. Bat­tle re­tired in May of 1985 as Chair­man of the El­e­men­tary Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment and Co­or­di­na­tor of Early Child­hood Ed­u­ca­tion at Vir­ginia State. She earned a B.S. de­gree in Vo­ca­tional Home Eco­nomics from Langston University; an M.S. de­gree in Home Life from Ok­la­homa State University in Still­wa­ter, OK; and a PhD de­gree in Early Child­hood and El­e­men­tary Ed­u­ca­tion from the University of Mary­land at Col­lege Park. Her pro­fes­sional ca­reer ex­tended across the coun­try as she was em­ployed as a teacher in Ok­la­homa, in Wis­con­sin and fi­nally in Vir­ginia where she taught young chil­dren at Bland­ford El­e­men­tary School in Peters­burg, Va., and Ma­toaca Lab­o­ra­tory School on the cam­pus of Vir­ginia State. Dr. Bat­tle, a pioneer in the field of Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment, de­signed and es­tab­lished the kin­der­garten pro­gram at Ma­toaca Lab.

Dr. Bat­tle was a de­voted mem­ber of Gill­field Bap­tist Church in Peters­burg where she was one of the first women to be or­dained as a dea­con in that con­gre­ga­tion. She served in nu­mer­ous lead­er­ship po­si­tions and on many com­mit­tees at Gill­field in­clud­ing Vice Chair of the Fi­nance Board and Pres­i­dent of the Women’s Aux­il­iary. She was in­stru­men­tal in or­ga­niz­ing the church nurs­ery as well as the Gill­field Child Care Cen­ter. She also served as Gill­field’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Gill­haven Manor Board of Direc­tors un­til she re­lo­cated to North­ern Vir­ginia.

Dr. Bat­tle is a life mem­ber of Al­pha Kappa Al­pha Soror­ity, Inc. and has the distinction of be­ing a Golden Soror with more than 50 years in the soror­ity. She would have cel­e­brated her Di­a­mond An­niver­sary as an Al­pha Kappa Al­pha woman next year when she would have achieved the cov­eted distinction of 75 years of mem­ber­ship in this in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tion. She was honored in 2008 for her role in found­ing the soror­ity’s Ivy Com­mu­nity Foundation, and in 2009 she was named AKA “Un­sung Hero.” She was a mem­ber of the Peters­burg Chap­ter of the Na­tional Pinochle Bugs So­cial & Civic Club, Inc. and served as the chap­ter’s Cor­re­spond­ing Sec­re­tary and Archivist, Scrap­book Com­mit­tee Chair and Dorothy N. Batts Tour­na­ment Di­rec­tor. She also served on the Na­tional Archives Com­mit­tee. Dr. Bat­tle or­ga­nized sev­eral in­vest­ment clubs, notably the Southside Women’s In­vest­ment Club. She sought to en­cour­age young Black women in the area to or­ga­nize in­vest­ment clubs and as a re­sult eight other groups were or­ga­nized. A breast can­cer sur­vivor, she was past chair­man of the lo­cal chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety and a lead­ing pro­po­nent of Re­lay for Life. A past pres­i­dent of Jack & Jill Clubs, she was also a 1999 in­ductee into the Ch­ester­field Coun­try Se­nior Hall of Fame for her com­mu­nity ser­vice. She also founded the Libra Birth­day Club which an­nu­ally cel­e­brated a group of friends and col­leagues who were born un­der that as­tro­log­i­cal sign.

Dr. Bat­tle was pre­ceded in death by her sis­ter, Archye Mackey Bryant and is survived by sis­ter, Annie B. Hatch­ett of Oak­land, CA; a daugh­ter, San­dra Bat­tle Gra­ham of Hern­don, Va.; sons, Huey James Bat­tle (Ch­eryll) of Spring­field, Va., and Michael Brent Bat­tle (Ce­celia) of Clarksville, Md.; grand­sons, Derek Nel­son Gra­ham (Monique) and Steven Jef­fer­son Bat­tle; grand­daugh­ters, Erin El­iz­a­beth Bat­tle, Lo­gan Kath­leen Bat­tle, and Michaela Jane Bat­tle; great-grand­daugh­ter, Aija Lorene Gra­ham; and nephew, Ron­ald Richard Mackey (Shirley) of Dum­fries, Va.

The Cel­e­bra­tion of Life for Dr. Jim­mie Lorene Nel­son Bat­tle will be held at 11 a.m. Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 30, 2017, at Gill­field Bap­tist Church, 209 Perry Street, Peters­burg, Va., the Rev. Dr. Ge­orge W.C. Lyons, Jr., of­fi­ci­at­ing. In­ter­ment at Bland­ford Ceme­tery.

The fam­ily will re­ceive friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tues­day, Au­gust 29, 2017, at the J.M. Wilk­er­son Fu­neral Es­tab­lish­ment, Inc., 102 South Av­enue, Peters­burg, Va., where the Al­pha Kappa Al­pha Soror­ity, Inc., will hold their Ivy Beyond the Wall Cer­e­mony and Pinochle Bugs Me­mo­rial Ser­vices will be ac­corded.

The fam­ily will re­ceive friends one hour prior to the fu­neral ser­vices at the church.

In lieu of flow­ers, do­na­tions can be made to the Ivy Com­mu­nity Foundation 501(c)(3), P.O. Box 2224, Peters­burg, VA 23804.

Fam­ily mem­bers and friends are in­vited to pay fi­nal trib­ute to Dr. Bat­tle at www.jmwilk­er­son­since1874.com.

Fu­neral ar­range­ments en­trusted to the staff of J.M. Wilk­er­son Fu­neral Es­tab­lish­ment, Inc., 102 South Av­enue, Peters­burg, Va., (804) 732-8911, www.jmwilk­er­son­since1874.com.

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