Obituary Listings

Juanita Feemster Black

March 9, 1929 October 23, 2018
Juanita Feemster Black
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Obituary for Juanita Feemster Black

Lakeland - Juanita Feemster Black, 89, died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease at home on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Mrs. Black was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to Rebecca Pratt Bryan and Erskine LeRoy Feemster. She moved to Bradenton, Florida in 1939 and graduated from Bradenton High School in 1946. She attended Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama, where she met James I. Black, Jr. They married in June of 1948. After graduation in June of 1949, they began their life together in New Orleans, where Jim attended graduate school and Juanita was employed as an Archivist for the library at Tulane University.
In 1950, the Blacks moved to Lakeland and joined the First Presbyterian Church, which became one of Juanita’s great loves. Through the years, she served as a Sunday School teacher, Circle leader, Bible Moderator, Elder, Clerk of the Session and Chairman of the Pastor Nominating Committee. She was elected an Honorary Life Member of the Women of the Church in 1983. She was also active in the Presbytery of Tampa Bay, serving on the New Church Development Committee, as well as the Presbytery Committee on Ministry.
Mrs. Black was active in numerous civic and charitable organizations. She was President of the Junior Woman’s Club, a member of the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, the Chairman and a member of the board of Lakeland Little Theatre, and President of Cleveland Court Elementary PTA. She also was active in the founding group of the Polk Children’s Museum, now the Polk Museum of Art, the Friends of the Library, the Hospital Foundation Board, the board of VISTE, and was a loyal member and board member of the Surgeon General Matthew Fuller Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the Seventeenth Century.
While Juanita was very proud of her South Carolina roots, she grew to love Lakeland. Her interest in preserving and maintaining the beauty of old Lakeland became her passion. She served on the Historic Lakeland Board several times and twice served as President. Her leadership role preserving some of Lakeland’s most precious and historic treasures is well documented and in preservation circles bordered on being legendary. In the mid-1970s, she led a drive to raise funds and enlist city support for the very successful project which led to the restoration of the Lake Mirror Promenade. She later led drives to establish the Munn Park Historic District and to save the historic Coca-Cola building and the original Lakeland High School when both were facing demolition. Thanks to her efforts, these buildings were transformed into headquarters for the Lakeland Fire Department and the Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, respectively. In 2002, Mrs. Black received one of the two State of Florida Preservation Awards given in recognition of Outstanding Individual Achievement and Distinguished Service in the Field of Preservation. In 2007, Historic Lakeland and the City of Lakeland presented her with their first ever Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to leading drives to save old structures, she also ran Historic Lakeland’s annual collectible Christmas ornament fundraiser for 20 years.
In her spare time, Juanita enjoyed reading, playing bridge, going to Gator football and Florida Southern basketball games, and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Black enjoyed her work in the community and achieved a great deal, but she will best be remembered as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, James I. Black, Jr., and her sister, Doris Anderson. She is survived by her children, James Isaac Black, III and his wife Vikki of Scarsdale, New York, Gerald LeRoy Black and his wife Cheryl of Lakeland, Becky Black Charles and her husband Ray of Tampa, and Doris Black Lyons and her husband Tom of Lakeland. She is also survived by ten grandchildren: Jennifer L. Black (Joshua Rogers), Katharine A. Davis-Black (Tracy), Stephanie M. Black (Guillermo Castillo), Gerald LeRoy Black, Jr. (Jason Bates), Cassie B. Greatens (Jacob), Rebecca C. Arrington (Stuart), Margaret C. Packer (Mike), Eugene Ray Charles, Jr. (Mary Katherine), Matthew W. Lyons (Stephanie), Stacey L. Clyne (Kyle), and 14 great-grandchildren.
A special thanks to her devoted caregivers: Cherry Sinclair, Shannon Worley, Kathy Dees, Kristin Harrell and Laurie Bessinger for their many years of loving service. We would also like to thank the Good Shepherd Hospice Rose Team.
A visitation will be held on Monday, October 29th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Tribute Center at Heath Funeral Chapel, 328 S. Ingraham Avenue in Lakeland. The funeral will be on Tuesday, October 30th at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Mike Louden officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida 33801.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM 10/29/2018 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 10/29/2018 7:00:00 PM
Heath Funeral Chapel - Tribute Center

328 S Ingraham Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801

Heath Funeral Chapel - Tribute Center
328 S Ingraham Ave Lakeland 33801 FL
United States





2:00 PM 10/30/2018 2:00:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801

First Presbyterian Church
175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive Lakeland 33801 FL
United States

Cemetery Details


Oak Hill Burial Park Final Resting Place

4620 US Highway 98 South,
Lakeland, FL 33812

4620 US Highway 98 South, Lakeland 33812 FL
United States

Memorial Contribution

First Presbyterian Church Chapel

175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, Florida 33801

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