She LIVED. . . . .
She was born on January 4, 1949 to John Gaither and Allonia Frances Jackson in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was the oldest of five siblings: Elise D’Arcy, Jerry and Joey (the twins), and Bill. Loved by her grandfather, he nicknamed her “Sweetpea”. She had a loving spirit as a child and was always ready for adventure. She took her big sister role very seriously and more often than not she was guiding and directing them, in other words “being the mother”. She developed a special bond with her aunt, Barbara and they grew up as sisters; close and inseparable. She loved her family and sought to help, nurture and take care of them however and whenever she could.
Sweetie, as she became known, was an avid reader and an excellent student who excelled in all of her studies. She attended the public schools in Winston-Salem and after graduating from Anderson High School went on to attend UNC-G, the University of South Carolina and Fisk University where she studied Psychology. After graduation and because of her love for people and providing guidance she pursued a career in the Substance Abuse and Addiction field. It was in this field that she began to flourish as a motivator and counselor and developed a passion for helping people to better their lives.
In the 1970’s she set her sights on the big city and moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she oversaw addiction/substance abuse programs. While in Michigan she became reacquainted with her hometown sweetheart Louis Melton. They married and in 1981 she was blessed with her first daughter Lisa Nicole and ecstatic when in 1982 Michelle Lynette was born. The arrival of Lisa and Michelle spurned BJ to step out and realize her dream of having her own business. She began American Consultants, Inc. and used her knowledge to build a company that provided life-changing training to many companies and people throughout Michigan, Indiana, Chicago and other states.
She LAUGHED . . . .
“You must laugh often” was one of her favorite sayings. Chicki McGhee (affectionately nicknamed by her daughters) was always full of life and laughter. She was always engaged in some new endeavor that would cause her to laugh, especially at herself. Over the last few years her biggest laughing point was that she was now “officially a little old lady” and there was no shortage of benign activities that turned into “adventure”.
She LOVED . . . .
Whether you called her Beatrice, Sweetpea, Sweetie, BJ, or Chicki there was one thing that you always knew – she loved you. Whether she was your sister, mother, cousin, aunt or friend have no doubt that she loved you. If you hadn’t talked to or seen her in a while, she loved you. She loved you when you were right and she loved you when you were wrong. Chicki shared a love that made you feel like you were the most important person in the world.
She leaves to carry on the legacy of love and cherish her memory her daughters, Lisa Melton, of Cincinnati, OH and Michelle Melton of Phoenix, AZ; her faithful dog Kacey; her sister, Elise D’Arcy Weathers-Cadmus (Emmanuel) of Southfield, MI; three brothers, Jerry Jackson (Bessie) of Upland, CA, Joey Jackson (Lavern, a.k.a. Bonnie) of Upland, CA and Bill Jackson (Mary) of Farmington Hills, MI; and a host of nieces and nephews.