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Published: June 1, 2021


Ernestine (Sterling) Heflin, fourth child of Hilda and William Sterling was born in 1927, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was 94 years old when she passed away peacefully in her sleep, on May 29, 2021. She grew up in Jackson, Mississippi with five sisters and two brothers: Madge, Ruth, Mary, Wayne, JoAnn, Lyle and Amy. Calvary Baptist Church and neighborhood friends were the focal point of her childhood day-to-day life.

 

Ernestine (Ernie) attended Clarke College where she received an Associate’s degree in business. She met Virgil Phillip Heflin there, and they married in June, 1949. In 1956 she returned to Jackson and worked at Mississippi Power and Light Company for the next 34 years. After taking additional coursework at Mississippi College, she was promoted and became the first female buyer for Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant.

 

Blessed with extraordinary organizational skills, she took those into her career, and after retiring, continued to use them in part-time endeavors. One of her favorite contributions to friends, family and clients was staging their homes, where her innate talent for interior design flourished.

 

Her powerful pioneer spirit led her to be the first female member of the Jackson YMCA, where she was an avid runner. In addition, she researched and contracted the building of the first passive solar home in Mississippi, created lush landscaping and lived there for many years. She became a member of First Baptist Church and loved singing in the choir. She later moved to Florence, Alabama to be near family. The last five years of her life were spent happily at Keestone Assisted Living, in Florence.

 

Ernie was the mother to two daughters: Phyllis H. Linton and Frieda H. Wright (Preston).

She leaves four grandchildren: David Jonathan, Joel, (Judy), Rebecca Linton Stone, and Rachel, and seven great-grandchildren: Faith, Charis, Ashlyn, Saorsa, Seren, Sarah and Luke. She was preceded in death by her parents and all seven siblings. A private memorial service will be held at a later date.