Lizzie Mae Henry was born on December 15, 1930 in Rankin County, Mississippi to parents Isaiah & Luella Lewis. Lizzie was one of nine children: sisters Mildrey Nelson, Mamie Lou Hill, Ruby Ceal Slater and Willa Ree Hayes; brothers Ovaree Lewis, Willie Lewis, Willie C. (Buck) Lewis and Ike Lee Lewis.
Lizzie Mae’s early educational years were in Rankin County, yet during her junior & high school years she attended Piney Woods Country Life School in Piney Woods, Mississippi; a boarding school founded by Laurence C. Jones, grandfather of TV One entrepreneur, Cathy Hughes. Lizzie was a scholar student becoming Salutatorian of her graduating class in 1948.
After graduation, Lizzie moved to Chicago, Illinois to pursue her dream of becoming a beautician. While in Chicago, she met and married Willie Mitchell Jones. From this union, five children were born: Paulette Rena, Linda Elaine, Donna Germaine, Derek Earl & Gail Meshunn. After living in Gary, Indiana and Jackson, Michigan, the Jones’ moved to Inkster, Michigan to historical neighborhood, Annapolis Park. Annapolis Park was one of the few neighborhoods built of newly constructed brick houses made available to African Americans to purchase with the GI Bill.
After her dream of becoming a beautician was delayed, due to having to raise her five children, Lizzie worked as a domestic and other odd jobs. Eventually, Lizzie was able to begin steps needed to accomplish her dream, by attending Stella Buggs House of Cosmetology in Detroit. Lizzie, along with a neighbor, Mae Jackson, would drive to Detroit from Inkster taking night classes; often bringing their children with them to be used as educational tools for their burgeoning hair styling craft! While in Inkster, the Jones’ family became lifelong friends with the Boyer, Jackson and Albert families. Lizzie was also a faithful member of St. James Methodist Church in Inkster until she moved to Detroit.
Upon leaving Inkster in 1962 and moving to Detroit with her children, Lizzie was finally able to realize her goal of becoming a licensed cosmetologist in 1963. Lizzie then married Richard G. Henry and from this union, she gained four more daughters: Monica, Brenda, Sharon and Constance. In July 1966, the Henry’s were one of a few African Americans who purchased a home in one of Detroit’s many neighborhoods still having a “do not sell to colored” clause in the deed. Lizzie & Richard remained in this home and married for 46 years until his death in 2012.
Lizzie’s dream was made complete when she became an entrepreneur purchasing and opening her own beauty shop in 1969, Henry’s Beauty Salon on Joy Rd in Detroit. Lizzie loved working at her profession of a beautician and performed her craft until she was well into her 80’s, even after selling her shop in 2010, she continued to do the hair of a few faithful customers until 2016.
Lizzie attended numerous neighborhood political and social functions with her husband, Richard, always fashionably dressed to the nines! She started playing tennis in her later years at Farmington Racquet Club. Until her eyesight began to fail, she thoroughly enjoyed watching sports on TV, such as tennis, football and golf. Lizzie also enjoyed strolling thrift stores, collecting antiques and traveling to visit with her large and diverse family’s events, traveling stateside to California, Indiana, Maryland, Texas, Mississippi and Jackson, Michigan and internationally to Canada and Mexico.
Lizzie had hobbies of preparing much anticipated Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, her chitterlings and sweet potato pies were the stars of these meals. She loved playing the CDs of some of her favorite musicians: Prince, Al Green, Johnnie Taylor, Rod Stewart and Detroit’s own Bob Seger.
Lizzie Mae was a myriad of beautiful things. She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, faithful friend and successful entrepreneur.
Lizzie took ill in early 2018 with minor medical issues. Her children were always there to help her get through this time along with her dear son-in-law, John Sebron, calling from Maryland to read her passages from The Bible, daily. Lizzie Mae always thought of others before she thought of herself.
Preceded in death by husband Richard Henry, parents Luella and Isaiah Lewis, sisters: Mildrey Nelson, Mamie Hill, Ruby Ceal Slater and Willa Ree Hayes; brothers Willie Lewis and Overee “Slim” Lewis.
Eternal slumber came to this beautiful soul on Monday night, November 16, 2020. She leaves to mourn her memory: brothers Willie (Angela) Lewis (Round Rock, TX) and Ike Lewis (Moss Point, MS); children Paulette (Roland) Donehue (Detroit, MI), Linda (Karl) Leverette (Detroit, MI), Donna Jones (Detroit, MI), Derek (Cathy) Jones (Costa Mesa, CA), Gail (John) Sebron (Columbia, MD), Monica Wimberly (Inkster, MI), Brenda Henry (Dearborn, MI), Sharon Carter (Detroit, MI) and Constance Quarels (Dearborn Heights, MI); grandchildren Kevin, Takisha, Tiffaney, Tamara, Gary, Matthew, April, Marlon, Sparkle, Latika, Terrance, William, Windale, Crystal, Leslie, Tanzalea, Ashley and Tiffany; 41 great grandchildren which includes an extremely special bond with Kevin Elliott, Jr., and four great-great grandchildren; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Cherished friends: Ocie Burroughs (Piney Woods schoolmate), the Culbreath Family (Canada), Mr. & Mrs. George Lee & Family, Phyllis Merriweather, Margaret Norris, Judy Smith and Faye Wallace. Cherished “children”: Diane Howard, Tyrone Jones, Earnest Matthews, James L. Matthews (deceased), Earnest L. Sanders and Gary L. Jones.
Special thanks and acknowledgements to nursing staff at Angela Hospice…this facility lovingly cared for Lizzie Mae and helped her spend her final days in peace and comfort during the last weeks of her life. WE THANK AND APPRECIATE YOU!
December 15, 1930 - November 16, 202012/15/193011/16/2020
Lizzie Mae Henry
1 Tree has been planted in memory of Lizzie Henry.