Obituary of Juanita Epps
Juanita Kirkland was born in Atlanta, Georgia to the union of Ed and Pearlie Mae Kirkland on July 7, 1939. The fifth of seven children Juanita was a natural caregiver to those she loved. She moved to Michigan making her home in Monroe in 1963 and gained employment at Ford Motor Company where she assembled vehicles for thirty dedicated years.
Juanita was a firecracker with a great sense of humor. She said what she meant and meant what she said. Growing up in Atlanta, Juanita liked to shoot marbles and roller-skate. She carried the luck she had while shooting marbles into adulthood by playing the lotto, scratch-offs and daily drawings. She loved to travel and spent time in New Jersey at the boardwalk in Atlantic City and going back to Atlanta to visit family.
Juanita was an incredible cook and took great pride in using fresh ingredients from her full and beautiful vegetable garden to provide nourishment and comfort through her cooking. Her cornbread is a part of her culinary legacy that will be missed the most. She also enjoyed making her surroundings visually appealing by redecorating. Juanita would use her favorite color blue to add her signature touch in the spaces she designed. Creating a home of warmth and familiarity for those who knew and loved her.
Juanita had a strong sense of empathy and a desire to help others. She was a mother to many and her willingness to take people into her home showed how generous her practical nature was. Juanita went above and beyond to ensure the wellbeing of others. Her actions always demonstrated her belief in helping others, even if it required personal sacrifice. Juanita knew both love and loss in her life. The loss of her first husband Otis Jackson Sr. however, did not close off her heart as she was willing to take a chance a second time marrying Floyd “Sugarman” Epps.
Juanita was blessed with four children. And from these children she would ultimately become a grandmother. This was a role she held with great importance. She expressed her love often by spoiling her grandchildren which created lasting memories for a lifetime. Juanita loved movies by Tyler Perry, especially those featuring Madea. It was easy to see why she loved these movies as they often explored love, faith, friendship, and family. All things that Juanita held dear.
Juanita Epps, age 83 went home to be with the Lord at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital on Wednesday; March 29, 2023. Her passing was preceded by her parents: Ed and Pearlie Mae; seven siblings; a son: Robert (Joemary) “Lamont” Jackson; and two husbands: Otis Jackson Sr. and Floyd “Sugarman” Epps.
To cherish her memory she leaves three children: Cleosie (Denise) Kirkland, Elaine Jackson, and Otis Jackson Jr.; nine grandchildren: LaWanda “Poodoo” Jackson, Cleosie “Boomer” Kirkland, Ya’Vontae “Fatty” Hood, Andrew Kirkland, Otis “OJ” Jackson III, Cameron Calbert, Anna Jackson, Steven Jackson and Martise “Tisey Bop” Jackson; and nine great-grandchildren; as well as many loving nieces and nephews.
Friends may gather from 1:00pm until 4:00pm on Monday; April 10, 2023 at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Homegoing Celebration of Her life will be held at 5:00pm also at Merkle’s with Larry Aaron officiating. Cremation will take place through the on-site crematory, Covenant Cremation of Erie, Michigan.
Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.