The Union Recorder

February 27, 2013

Influential councilwoman's service recognized

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville City Council honored the late Dennette Odum Jackson with a memorial resolution Tuesday. Jackson, a trailblazer who served as the Milledgeville's first African American city councilwoman, passed away last Saturday. 

Excerpts from the resolution called Jackson “a uniquely gifted and deeply principled woman who was a servant to many as a strong role model and leader in the community.”

Jackson served District 1 for 12 years starting in 1992. Her countless selfless acts drew the highest acclaim and praise.

Mayor Richard Bentley spoke of Jackson's quiet confidence.

“We have in here grace and dignity, and I can't think of two better words for her because she stood for what she believed in,” Bentley said. “We were given 85 years and several years of her serving the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Denese Shinholster, District 3, followed the respected figure as the second African American councilwoman. She wanted to be like Jackson.

“The thing I remember most about (Jackson) was being a quiet storm. If there was something someone asked her to look into, she wasn't going to stop until it was done,” Shinholster said. “She always put other people first and was the perfect model of what a servant should be.”

Jackson recorded another historic first as the first African American president of the sixth district of the Georgia American Legion Auxiliary. 

As a member of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials (GABEO), Jackson was also a chairman of the Oconee Community Service Board, president of the local AARP chapter and served on the Georgia War Veterans Home advisory council. 

She spent more than 42 years serving others at Central State Hospital and was honored with a Faithful Service Award by then Gov. Roy Barnes upon retirement. 

In other news:

• County commissioner Henry Craig was appointed as an ex-officio member of the Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Committee.

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