Jessie Ree Perkins was born December 2, 1923 to the union of James Perkins and Dorothy Caddell in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She was an only child and she accepted Christ at an early age.
Jessie met and married her loving and devoted husband, the late Earnest Knowles, Jr of 62 years of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Jessie returned to Chicago the year of 1952 along with her husband, after he received a honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and served in the Korean War.
Jessie and her mother, Dorothy Caddell worked as a duo Gospel singers, Jessie was a pianist. They traveled all over the west and south side of Chicago when she returned to Chicago. Jessie later found a job at Speigel (Catalog) Company where she found the love for her clothes, shoes, hats,jewelry especially her pearls, as she adored her red lipstick and polish. She was truly a well-dressed and well spoken woman. Jessie later moved on to work for the Britamica Encyclopedia (Perkin) as a Secretary in the Sales Department until she retired.
Jessie attended Lydia's Adam Beauty School during her retirement. She and her husband both worked as a duo on Saturdays in their home as a licensed barber and cosmetologist.
Jessie joined Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church under the elder W.E. Whitehead. She played the piano for the Willy Workers and joined the Mother's Board. Jessie was the oldest of all 1st cousins in her family. Without any children of her own she became the lovable aunt to all of her 1st cousins children.
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