- About Us
Bessie L AvantAugust 27, 1947 ~ September 11, 2017 (age 70)
BESSIE LEE AVANT
Bessie Lee Avant, age 70, transitioned from her earthly home to her Heavenly Home on Monday, September 11, 2017, 10:15 p.m. at Parkview Medical Center in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, after a brief illness. Bessie was born August 27, 1947, in Forrest City, Arkansas, the daughter of George Avant, Sr. and Elnora Avant.
Bessie accepted the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in 1966 (est.). She was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Acts 2:38 and received the gift of the Holy Ghost at Bethlehem Temple Church, in Benton Harbor, Michigan under the leadership of Pastor W. H. Hunter. She thereafter served God wholeheartedly.
Bessie thoroughly loved rescuing children and youth in need. She enjoyed creating a safe and caring environment for children giving them a home, school and family to call their own and to navigate them to their own successes. She strived to keep children in school and in their classrooms. Out of her own life’s educational challenges, she understood the significance of adult support for the whole child. She established and operated a licensed child foster care home and program for many years. She planned for The Bessie Home for Children to continue in her memory.
Bessie learned early in life to face challenges head on. As a young mother and wife, she pursued her education and earned her GED and her High School Diploma from Lakeshore High School, in Stevensville, Michigan. She went on to earn her Associates Degree from Lake Michigan college, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Bessie’s eloquent speaking voice and excellent people skills opened doors for her beginning at Kmart, cafeteria and blue light special announcer, to Legal Works USA office manager, to the State of Indiana, as customer service representative, and director of Indiana State health care homes. Bessie’s numerous roles spanned a 40 years work career.
In August of 1962, Bessie married James Rice, Sr. who preceded her in death on September 24, 2012. From their union five (5) children were born. Later she married Charles Threets in March 2016. Bessie adored her family and lived for her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchild. Bessie was a member of King’s Chapel Assembly Apostolic Church, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bessie was a humble person, and will be remembered for her caring and kind spirit; she was always willing to help others in any way she could. And yes, she would make sure you would eat, if nothing else.
Bessie is survived by her husband, Charles Threets of Fort Wayne, IN; her children, Joanne Rice of Fort Wayne, IN, Connie Rice of Benton Harbor, MI, James (Erica) Rice, Jr. of Fort Wayne, IN, Elnora (Dion) Cornelius of Elkhart, IN, Clinton Rice of St. Joseph County, IN; her step-daughter, Alexis McMullins of Las Vegas, NV; her brothers, George (Clydie) Avant, Jr. of Marianna, AR, Cleveland (Joyce) Avant of Ann Arbor, MI; her sister-in-law, Mary Washington who was like a sister to her; 19 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and more who love her dearly!
Bessie was preceded in death by her parents, George Avant Sr. and Elnora Avant; her son, Jason Brown; her brothers and sisters, David Avant, Excel Avant, Daisy Avant, LC Avant, Georgia Avant, Louise Avant, Curlie Mae Avant-Dickens, Earnestine Avant, Corein Avant-Viverette, Erma Jean Avant-Aaron and the father of her surviving children the late James Rice, Sr.
She will be laid to rest in Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery