The mother of Austin Ald. Emma Mitts died last week after a long illness, the alderman’s office announced.

The funeral for Mrs. Bettye Jakes-Russ, 87, took place on Saturday Feb. 16 at First Baptist Congregational Church of Chicago, 1613 West Washington. Mrs. Jakes-Russ died on Feb. 11 at her Chicago residence, according to a press release from last week. She married her late husband, Percy Jakes, in 1949, and together they had 19 children. The news of her death brought out condolences from the community to Ald. Mitts and her family.

“During this difficult time, a life lesson has been taught here on the West Side, thanks to Alderman Emma Mitts, at the passing of her 86 year old mother, Bettye P. Jakes-Russ,” says state Rep. LaShawn Ford (8th), in a statement released by his office last week. “Over the years, Alderman Mitts has been a fine example of how to love and care for our parents in their twilight days. Because of the recent violence, far too many parents have buried their child, rather than the natural cycle of life, where a child buries their parent.

Thank you for inspiring us and showing the natural cycle of life, and job well done, Alderman Mitts.”