Oldest living funeral director in Louisiana turns 100

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 7:14 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2023 at 11:15 AM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Lafaye C. Jackson was born February 13, 1923 and turns 100 years old today!

She is the oldest living funeral director in the state of Louisiana, according to her family. Lafaye and her husband, Rogers Jackson Sr., started the Memorial Funeral Home and Life Insurance Company nearly 60 years ago. There are now six locations in northwest Louisiana: Homer, Plain Dealing, Cullen, Ringgold, Arcadia, and Farmerville.

Family members say she is an original founder of the NAACP chapter in Claiborne Parish, worked as an activist to integrate Homer High School, and was the first African American to be elected to the Claiborne Parish School Board in 1973.

Lafaye provides around 16 scholarships a year to children in surrounding parishes.

She has four children, 16 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. She is the youngest of four sisters.

Lafaye lives life by a simple philosophy: “You can make it if you try.”

Timeline of accomplishments:

  • 1941 - Graduated from Homer Colored High School
  • 1949 - Co-founded Memorial Funeral Home with her husband and partners in Cotton Valley, Louisiana
  • 1952 - Received funeral directors license
  • 1955 - Founded Memorial Funeral Association
  • 1960 - Co-organized boycotts to integrate Homer High School
  • 1961 - Co-founded Memorial Industrial Life Insurance Company
  • 1973 - First African American Female elected to Claiborne Parish School Board
  • 1975 - Co-Founded and operated the first African American Class A Daycare Center in Claiborne Parish (Homer Childhood Learning Center)
  • 1998 - Elected board of directors for Boys and Girls Club
  • 2005 - CEO & President of Memorial Enterprises
  • 2006 - Founded Rogers and Lafaye C Jackson Scholarship Foundation
  • 2013 - Received the Pinkie C. Wilkerson Humanitarian Award from LLBC (Black Caucus)
  • 2022 - Received the Living Louisiana Legend Award from the Louisiana and Mississippi Funeral Directors and Morticians Association