Mittie Jeanne Ealy, 92, one of the oldest students at Malcolm X College
Mittie Jeanne Ealy (1914-2006) had been a student at Malcolm X College for the last two years. She wanted to take computer classes to help create a computer resource center at her church. Ms. Ealy, who died July 8, 2006, of heart failure, was one of the college’s oldest students when she enrolled in the fall of 2004 at age 90. Ms. Ealy was 92 at the time of her death.
Looking more like a woman in her 60s, people were often surprised to learn her true age. Ealy walked with a cane and used a wheeled cart book bag to carry her books. She was enrolled in the Associate of Arts degree program. In honor of Ms. Ealy, the college will award her a posthumous Associate of Arts degree, said Bernard Williams, Malcolm X College’s marketing and public relations director.
Ms. Ealy was an ordained minister and for 23 years operated Jeanne’s Magic Beauty Chateau until her retirement in 1993.
Born in Caledonia, Miss., she was the third of nine children, and married Roy Lee Walker at age 15, shortly after dropping out of high school. They would have two children by the time she was 18. She returned to school to get her high school diploma and would go on to receive more than 200 educational certificates.
She married Nathan Ealy and moved to Chicago in the 1940s, then opened her beauty shop in the 1970s. She is survived by her two daughters, Anna Williams and Nina Smith; her two sons, Charles Ealy and Joe Ealy; her two sisters, Mary Lee Humphreys and Pattie Dulin; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.