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Final Services for Gary resident Elizabeth Upshaw announced

The family of Elizabeth Upshaw announced that final services will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at St. John Baptist Church, 2457 Massachusetts Street, with Rev. R.E. Robinson, pastor presiding. Visitation will be at 9 a.m., with the services at 11:00 a.m.

Elizabeth ‘Jean’ Upshaw was born on January 31,1939 in Clarkedale, Arkansas to Tollie Ross and Julia Hardin. Her mother died when she was an infant, but she was raised in a loving home by her father and stepmother, Lucille Ross, along with her brother and two sisters.

When she was a teenager, her family moved to Gary, Indiana where Jean earned a diploma from Roosevelt High School. Her family attended St. John Baptist Church, where she accepted Christ at an early age, and was an active member.

As a young woman, Jean was employed at the Chicago Stock Exchange where she worked as a keypunch operator. She loved being immersed in the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoyed traveling around the world in her spare time.

She also worked for several years at Indiana University Northwest as a secretary in the Department of Education. A highlight of her employment was an opportunity to be interviewed by the History Channel for their Save Our History: Voices of Civil Rights oral history program. She shared stories of her life growing up in the south, and her recordings are archived at the Library of Congress.

Jean also graduated from cosmetology school and became a licensed beautician. On Saturdays her kitchen was always busy and full of laughter with ladies stopping by to get their hair done.

Early on in her life, she also became a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and enjoyed many years of active service and held several leadership positions in upper houses.

Jean departed this life on Monday, June 3, 2024, surrounded by her loving sisters. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Robert Upshaw, and her brother Charles Turner.

She leaves to cherish her memories her loving son, Keenan Eaton; granddaughters, Kelley Jean Eaton and Mokeisha Eaton; sisters Hue Wright-Deggans and Yvernia Barnes; three great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, and many other friends and family.

Services have been entrusted to the Guy and Allen Funeral Home.

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