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Sadie Boykin Jackson, a beloved neighborhood figure to many children, died Thursday in her Buffalo home after a long illness. She was 84.

She was born Sadie Boykin in Hartsville, S.C., one of 15 children. She attended local schools.

She married Paul S. Jackson in 1932 -- at just 14 years old, when he was 15 -- and moved with him from Hartsville to Winston-Salem, N.C., then to Washington, D.C., before coming to Buffalo.

As a resident of the Willert Park housing project, Mrs. Jackson became a motherly figure known to the children of the neighborhood, her family members recalled. Many called her "Ma" or "Mama Jackson," and she would take care of them and treat them as if they were her own children.

Later, Mrs. Jackson and her family -- which grew to include eight children -- moved to Adams Street, then to Beverly Road in the Cold Spring area. She was a domestic worker in private homes after her children were grown.

A member of Friendship Baptist Church for more than 44 years, she was a lead singer in the church women's choir.

Her husband died in 1998.

Survivors include three daughters, Mozell Bailey of Buffalo, Gerlene Burrell of Buffalo and Betty Bates-Jackson of Washington, D.C.; three sons, Hiawatha and Frederick, both of Buffalo, and Grady of Virginia Beach, Va.; a sister, Gerviene Howard of New York City; 23 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at noon Thursday in Friendship Baptist Church, 402 Clinton St. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.


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