Jessie Bell Hargrove Parker was born April 3, 1916 and grew up in Sampson County. She is the daughter of the late Martha Hargrove Greenfield. Jessie received her education in the Piney Grove Township community. She was the wife of the late James H. Parker. She was employed by Sampson Memorial Hospital as a custodian. As well, Jessie’s hobbies were quilting, sewing, canning and working in her flower and vegetable gardens. She especially enjoyed lending a helping hand to others.
She is a member of Goshen Disciple Church, where she is the oldest mother on the Mother Board. She loves talking about the goodness of the Lord, how He has kept her down through the years and all the good things that He had done for her. One of her favorite songs is “I Love Jesus.”
Being a mother of five children, Jessie’s primary purpose was to make sure that God was first and foremost in their lives. On Sunday mornings, she gathered her children around the breakfast table and read a Bible verse and then they prayed. Jessie made sure that they went to Sunday school and church each Sunday. The values that she has instilled in them will always be remembered and cherished. Additionally, she taught her children to work and what to expect out of life as they grew to be adults.
A birthday celebration was given by her daughters on April 2. Her pastor, Elder Donald Dewitt presented her with a plaque in honor of being the oldest mother in the church. In attendance were a host of church family, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. The Parker family is blessed to be celebrating this special day with her. She was also honored by receiving a Certificate of Recognition from President Barack Obama and N.C. Gov. Pat McCroy.
Jessie has three daughters and three son-in-laws: Neta (Eddie) Perkins, Evelyn (Willie) Jackson and Kay (Linwood) Cobb, one grandchild, Thee Faith Benitez, two great-grandchildren, Talyia and Tara Benitez. She was preceded in death by her son, Joe Park, and daughter Lois Parker.