December 3, 2020
A Wake In Memory of Ella Augusta Johnson Dinkins

A Message From N.Y.. Nathiri, Executive Director
A Wake In Memory of Ella Augusta Johnson Dinkins
Today, Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 4:00 PM Eastern Time

On Sunday morning, November 29, Ella Augusta Johnson Dinkins, a Founding Member of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.),  passed.  She died in her sleep,  in her bed at home, on her property in her Beloved Eatonville.
Her Wake will take place today, Thursday December 3, 2020 at:
Mitchell's Funeral Home
501 Fairvilla Road in Orlando 32808
4:00 - 7:00 PM Eastern Time

This will also be a Zoom event, with the 6:00 - 7:00 hour being recorded.

Please see Zoom detail below:
The Association Preserve The Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom Meeting
Topic: A Wake In Memory of Ella Augusta Johnson Dinkins
Time: Dec 3, 2020 4:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 881 9054 0078
Born on April 20,1918, Ella Augusta Johnson Dinkins, is the eldest child of Augustus Newsome Johnson, an architect and builder, and Addie Mae Gramling Johnson, a student of  W.E.B. DuBois, towering 20th century African-American intellect, and a college-educated school teacher.  
She was born in Orlando (Orange County) and lived in Lakeland (Polk County), Florida until when, at the onset of the Great Depression, her father who "had lost everything," moved the  family to Eatonville, where decades earlier he had built the home for the Calhouns, graduates of Tuskegee Institute, and the first principals of the Robert Hungerford Industrial and Normal School. She graduated from the Historic Hungerford Vocational School in 1933 and attended Florida Normal in St. Augustine for one year.
Throughout her life, Mama was hardworking.  For a time, she worked in domestic service "Up North" but returned to Eatonville in 1939 after her father died so she could help her mother.  Ever an "independent contractor," she worked as an insurance agent, traveling the backroads of Florida selling policies to Black people; also as a cosmetician, as a truck farmer, and as a chicken farmer. Later in her life, she worked three jobs to support her family and ensure her two surviving children could go to college. She retired as a telephone clerk from the-then Winter Park Telephone Company.  
In Eatonville's Faith Community, she was a longtime member of the Town's oldest congregation, St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church, serving on numerous committees, including being President of its Trustee Board. She also worshipped at Open Door Missionary Baptist Church.
In civic affairs, she was equally active. Mama was a charter member of the Mothers Club, established by Orlando physician, Dr. James Smith.  It was her club that raised money  to buy incubators so that Black babies  who needed them could have them.  During the Segregation Era, "Colored" women in Orlando who went to the-then Orange Memorial Hospital could only deliver their babies in the hospital's basement and, before the efforts of the Mothers Club, there were no incubators for their babies.   

Mama was a respected volunteer and a resident known to attend EVERY Town Council meeting and/or other meetings convened by the community's elected officials.  In addition, she was an officer of her neighborhood homeowners association. During the 1950s and 1960s, he was a member of Eatonville's Women's Auxiliary,  a group that  supported community projects. In the 1960's, she worked tirelessly to elect candidates whom she believed would bring progress to Eatonville.  In 1987, she became a Founding Member of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.), the 501(c)3 historic preservation and cultural arts organization, probably best known for presenting the award-winning, internationally recognized Zora Neale Hurston™ Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA!™ Festival).  She has devoted thousands of hours in support of the P.E.C. mission, volunteering at the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts (The Hurston™); serving as a hospitality leader for cultural heritage tourists from around the world;  and attending historic preservation development conferences at state and national levels.  Over the years, she spent  thousands of dollars attending the annual conferences of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  When the Town of  Eatonville enacted its Historic Preservation Ordinance, Mama served on the first Historic Preservation Board.  She continued her service on that Board until her health prevented her from maintaining the vigorous schedule she had once established.
She is survived by a daughter, N. Y. Nathiri and son-in-law, Asili Ya Nadhiri;  a son, Anthony B. Dinkins; three grandchildren, Muhammad A. Nadhiri and wife, Rochelle;  Aman Nadhiri and wife, Racquel; and Iyesha Cherisol and son-in-law, Jeffrey; one great grandchild, Zahra Rose Neema Nadhiri along with scores of nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and friends.

Her graveside service will take place on Friday, December 4, 2020, 1:00 PM at the Eatonville Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, family asks that donations be made in her memory.
Donate by text:
  • Text the code ELLADINKINS to 44-321
Donate by website:  
Thank you for your attention.
N. Y. Nathiri

The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) is a historic preservation/cultural arts/community revitalization organization, which was established in 1987 and incorporated by the State of Florida in 1988.  P.E.C. has 501 (c) 3 status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service. Our FEIN is 59-2952662.
COVID-19-related funding to the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.)  provided by:
Florida Humanities Council, State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, and United Arts of Central Florida

We are governed by a Board of Directors, whose members are:
Winfred Chad McKendrick, President
Tadayuki (Tad) Hara, Ph.D., Vice President
Joshua Smith-Benson, PharmD., Treasurer
Rasheeda Garricks, MBA, Secretary
Marie-José François, MD, Immediate Past President
John W. Beacham
Ava K. Doppelt, Esq.
Harietta Finley White
Thomas S. Kornegay
Reginald Lewis
Reginald B. McGill
Jenneil Ross
Copyright © 2020 Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.), All rights reserved.

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