JIMMIE L.N. BATTLE
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.