Lucile Walker of Jacksonville, Florida, passed away on April 21, 2023, at 95 years of age. As she would defiantly tell you, this was quite a feat for Willie’s “little yellow gal” (as her doting daddy referred to her), considering undiagnosed childhood diabetes made her too weak to work in the field with her many siblings. Lucile left this world as she lived her life, in-charge. Hands raised to her Savior, she resolutely declared to her family, “I’m going home!” With no further words, she simply closed her eyes and took His hand.
Lucile was born in Arlington, Georgia, to Willie Dan Sellers & Cozzie Mae (Mitchell) Sellers, the fourth of 15 children. Despite her illness, she was hard working, resilient, strong-willed, extremely giving, vivacious. Thus, just as this adjective is traditionally used to describe — Lucile was certainly a lively, exciting, and attractive woman! So much so that she captured the special attention of her friend, Sanford Jacobs, also of Arlington, Georgia, whom she married young. After all, how could he resist those cheekbones and legs that almost got a man knocked-out in a movie theater for looking too long!? Defying what the country doctor told her, Lucile gave birth first to a son, Willie, and then one year later, a daughter, Geneva. They were both delivered by Sanford’s grandmother, Mary Jane Jacobs, a midwife who delivered countless babies in the area. As Lucile would share throughout her life, “Those doctors don’t know everything. I knew my body. I wanted two children — a boy and a girl, and the Lord gave them children to me, a boy and then a girl.” For Lucile, faith was just that simple.
Lucile vehemently believed in family and the importance of family unity. She instilled this, along with the importance of doing well in school, in both of her children. As a result, the three referred to themselves as “the three amigos!” Lucile was entirely devoted to her children, working multiple jobs to provide for them. As poet Langston Hughes wrote in “Mother to Son” – “life for [her was] no crystal stair.” However, Lucile’s fighting spirit and common sense – along with the help of the Lord – brought her through every trial.
Lucile was baptized into Christ’s Church at the Northside congregation on June 20, 2004, the same day as her daughter, Geneva. She was enthusiastic and dedicated, completing the New Convert Class, and faithful in attending services until the full-time care of Geneva prevented her from doing so. However, each week she would have in-home worship with her adopted son, Ronald Cuthpert, or tune in to the Let the Bible Speak television program. Lucile deeply believed in the power of prayer, which she often described as just speaking plainly to God – the same God who blessed her to be both an enviable seamstress & cook; to raise a high-school graduate and master’s level graduate; to serve as the primary caregiver for her daughter for 20 years after diabetes claimed her eyesight and required her to receive dialysis three times per week; and to survive the loss of so many loved ones – to include both of her children, a mere year apart. She was one of one, and there will never be another like our Grand Luci!
Lucile leaves to cherish her memory, her siblings: Erma (Leon) Todd and Freddie Sellers (‘Fred’); devoted daughter-in-love, Gloria Jacobs ('Glo); grandchildren: LaTashia (Willie) Gibson, Cheyenne Cartafalsa, Robin (Alberto) Abbott, Karla (Wendell) Charles, and Brandon (Stephanie) Jacobs; great-grandchildren: Jasmine Fairley, Robert Pratt ('Zachary'), Joren Thomas, Jeremiah Fairley, and Kameron Jacobs; great, great-grandchildren: Ava and Jayden Anderson; sisters-in-love: Bettye (Freddie) Sumner, Verdene Webb, Maggie Williams and Lorene Fuller; brothers-in-love: Leonard Turner, Theopolis (Barbara) Wakefield and Warnell Wakefield; and numerous nieces, nephews, close friends, and brothers and sisters-in-Christ. Lucile was preceded in death by her husband, Sanford Jacobs; her two children: Geneva Ford and Willie B. Jacobs; and siblings: Willie D. Sellers, Jr. (‘Bubba’), Ruby Della Robinson, Horace Sellers, Fitch Sellers, Mackie B. Sellers Sr. (‘Mack’), Sammie Seller (‘Sam’), Ore Sellers, Willie Mae Sellers, Betty Jean Turner, Glorious Sanders, Joseph Sellers and Nathaniel Sellers (‘Nate’).
An initial viewing for family, church members and friends will take place at the Northside Church of Christ – 4736 Avenue B., Jacksonville, FL 32209 – on Monday, May 1st from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. A final viewing opportunity will be made available on Tuesday, May 2nd from 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM only. A celebration of life will be held in Lucile’s honor, at 11:00 AM also on Tuesday, May 2nd at the Northside Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers, we ask that family and friends please consider making a donation to the Willie B. Jacobs Scholarship for students of color declaring a major within the UNF College of Computing, Engineering & Construction. To do so, simply follow the link provided and click "Donate to the UNF BAA Scholarship Fund." You will be able to designate your giving to this specific scholarship under Step 4 - Additional Information.