Cover photo for Herbert L. Jeffries (Lansing)'s Obituary
Herbert L. Jeffries (Lansing) Profile Photo

Herbert L. Jeffries (Lansing)

December 16, 1939 — September 16, 2020

Herbert Lee Jeffries was born on December 16, 1939 in Little Rock, Arkansas to James and Irene (Booker) Jeffries. Growing up in the South was difficult, but Mr. Jeffries made the best of the situation and held numerous jobs as a teen. In 1961, to escape the racial unrest and the closure of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, he moved to Lansing, Michigan and stayed with his aunt, Hattie Vira and later William Flourry “Uncle Tea” on Main Street. He attended and graduated from Sexton High School. In the same year, Mr. Jeffries married Maggie (Strickland) Walker. To this union two children were born, Herbert Steven and Patricia Jeffries.

Mr. Jeffries confessed his hope in Christ in 1962 at Friendship Baptist Church, where he was a member for over forty years. He set high goals for him and his family. He started on the Oldsmobile assembly line in 1963 during the day and operated his own janitorial service at night to save money to build his dream house on the Westside of Lansing. In the early 70's he started a trucking company with his brothers. He always planned for the future, purchasing several rental properties. As a landlord for over nineteen years, he was proud to help families by providing affordable housing in his Lansing community.

Mr. Jeffries attended Lansing Community College in 1976 and received his Associate Degree. This degree enabled him to become one of the first Black Millwright Skilled Tradesman at Oldsmobile where he worked for forty years. Mr. Jeffries received the Oldsmobile Attendance Awards yearly. For several years he worked 12-hour shifts 7 days a week, always at work and always ready for the next job. He was a valued team member and worked to achieve high standards as a Millwright. Mr. Jeffries was a mentor/trainer for the next generation through the Apprentice Program and his co-workers respected him appreciated his work ethic.

As a young man, Mr. Jeffries joined a motorcycle club and designed his custom ride. He also enjoyed cruising, especially in his many Corvettes and Cadillacs over the years. He took pride in maintaining his lawn on the corner lot of Maybel and Waverly, where he lived for 43 years. On many occasions you could hear old school and blues music coming from his home. Mr. Jeffries was the life of the party and enjoyed having a good time.

Mr. Jeffries was preceded in death by his parents, James and Irene Jeffries; stepmother, Dr. Lauvern B. Jeffries; brothers, Jimmy Jeffries, Calvin Jeffries; sister, Ruth Jeffries; sister-in-law, Mildred (Jeffries) Stoudamire; nephews, Reggie and Jerrick Jeffries.

Herb leaves to cherish his memory his daughter, Patricia (Michael) Jeffries Hodnett; sons, Herbert Steven Jeffries, Donald Ray Parker; beloved grandchildren, Tiffani Paige Jeffries, Ashleigh Patrice Jeffries, Vivica Cosey; great-granddaughter, Ava Marie Jeffries; brothers, James Jr., Welton Jeffries, both of Lansing Michigan, Emmett (Bettye) Jeffries, Little Rock, Arkansas; special and long-time companion, Jessie Smith, Lansing, Michigan; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

We, the family of Herbert Lee Jeffries, wish to thank our friends for every expression of kindness extended to us at this time of sorrow. May God Bless each of you and sustain a lasting peace.

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