At 1:40 am, Friday, August 23, 2019, Jestina Mae Prather Stewart entered into eternal rest at home, Gaithersburg. The daughter of the late Andrew and Harriette Jones, she was born April 30,1920, Baltimore County, MD. She attended Cookesville Elementary School, Howard County, MD. Since there was no high school for Negroes in Howard County, she attended high school in Baltimore City and graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1938.
After high school, she spent some time in Philadelphia, PA, with relatives.
The Jones’ were invited to an annual picnic at the home of Ms Mary Jane Prather, our Great Aunt Mamie. At that picnic, she met her future husband, Thomas. They married September 1939. Thomas was the organist at Brooke Grove Church. She joined Brooke Grove, became a member of The Womens’ Society, now Methodist Women, the usher board and later served as the Financial Secretary.
Jestina found work as a domestic before working on Fulks’ Poultry Farm. She vaccinated and debeaked baby chickens, as many as 4,000 every Tuesday and Thursday mornings for several years.
She became the taxi driver for her children; one in Gaithersburg High, Carver High, Gaithersburg Middle and Laytonsville Elementary Schools. Relief came when the older boys received their drivers’ permit.
After the death of Thomas Sr., she married James Stewart.
Jestina was preceded in death by her parents, Andrew and Harriette Jones; husbands, Thomas L. Prather, Sr., James H. Stewart; twin sister, Ruth Grooms and sister, Mary Costley.
She leaves to cherish her memory a daughter, Diane Ferguson; sons Thomas Jr. (Beulah), Andrew (Marilyn) and Gary; stepdaughter Carolyn Taylor; sister-in-law, Marjorie Johnson; brothers-in-law Benjamin Jackson and Richard Stewart; ten grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; seven great, great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Montgomery Hospice.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her honor to Montgomery Hospice, Goshen United Methodist Church or a charity of you choice.