Ernestine Ballard Wilkins, 97, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on December 21, 1925 in Jackson, Mississippi to Percy Max Ballard and Viola Singletary.
Ernestine met her husband John R. Wilkins Sr. at Howard University in Washington D.C., where they later married and moved to Cleveland, Ohio to raise their family. Ernestine was a devoted mother who dedicated her life to supporting her family. She had a talent for upholstery and took up the craft at Bellaire Gardens where she pursued her passion.
In addition to raising her family, Ernestine actively participated in the community through her work with Guardian Blvd. Street Club and PTA as well as her time at Sears where she worked until retirement.
Ernestine had a green thumb and loved nothing more than tending to her garden. Her love of nature was surpassed only by her deep faith in God which she practiced through attending Second Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
Ernestine's memory will be cherished by all who knew and loved her. She will be deeply missed by Sons, Rickey Wilkins, Lloyd C. Wilkins, John R. Wilkins Jr. (Sylvia), Neal Wilkins Sr.; Daughters, Wynter (Mitch)) and Apryl Johnson. Her founding legacy continues with her grandchildren, Neal Wilkins Jr., Jason Wilkins (Taryn), Tiana Wilkins, Dirk Allan Johnson, and great grandchild, Adelaide Naphtali Buckles (Dee-Dee), whom she loved dearly. She was also a loving aunt to a host of nieces and nephews.
Ernestine always maintained close relationships with those around her including longtime friend and neighbor Earnice Henderson who she held dear in heart.
Ernestine is preceded in death by parents, Percy Max Ballard & Viola Singletary; and siblings, Percy Ballard Jr. (Dorothy), Annabel Ballard Hoskins (Robert), & Geraldine Ballard Gibson (Rev. Edward).
During this difficult time of parting from Ernestine, let us honor her life by reflecting on the love and joy she brought into our lives. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, being fondly remembered as a remarkable woman who touched the hearts of all who knew her.
Family and friends are welcome on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 11 a.m. until time of Service at 12 p.m., at Slone & Co. Life Celebration Center 3556 W. 130th St. Cleveland, OH 44111, with a repast to follow after the Committal Service. Interment West Park Cemetery.