The funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Big Bethel Baptist Church, 1330 North Jackson Street, Americus, Georgia. Burial will follow at Eastview Cemetery, Ashby Street, Americus.
Mrs. Essie Mae Mansfield Laster was born February 22, 1926 in Preston, Webster County, Georgia to the parentage of Rev. Allen Nelson Mansfield and Jessie Lee Mayo Mansfield. She acquired her education from Webster County School. She was united in holy matrimony to the late Walter Laster in July 1944, and to this union they were blessed with nine children. Five children, Mark Laster, Willie Fred Laster, Walter Laster, Jr., Emma Jean Jones, and Willie Mae Hawkins, preceded her in death. She was a lovely, sweet spirited and caring person to her children, grandchildren, and others, as well. She would always say, “I am not responsible for how you treat me, I am responsible for how I treat you.”
She was the last surviving sibling out of seventeen sisters and brothers. At an early age she joined the Mt. Aire Baptist Church, Preston, Georgia. She moved to Americus, Georgia during her childhood and joined the Green Grove Baptist Church, under the leadership of Rev. Ulysee Mann, where she served as “Mother of the Church” until its closing. She later joined the Big Bethel Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Calvin Rollins Sr. There she served faithfully as the “Mother of the Church” until her health failed. She enjoyed weekly congregation with the Senior Citizen Council on Aging, cooking delicious meals, attending church, and helping others. She had a sharp mind, full of wisdom, and offered spiritual encouragement to many people.
She leaves to cherish her memories: one son, Willie James Laster (Chizua Ketchup), Macon, Georgia; three daughters, Barbara Ann Williams, Betty Jean Carter, and Essie (McArthur) Sims, all of Americus, Georgia; seventeen grandchildren, Kimmy Foster (Nora), Michael Jones, Barbara Jean Brown, Michael A. Carter Jr., Latarsha Williams, Kevin Carter (Yomekia), Kristal L. Carter, Trokney Sims (whom she raised as a child), Brandon Sims, Kyle Sims, Carome Neal, Breanne Neal, Quinndrell Releford, Yashica Jackson, Carl Richardson, Tonia Laster, and Bernard Sims; seventeen great grandchildren, eight great, great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, caring friends, and others relatives survive.