Inez G. (Fuqua) Espy, 92, of Sandusky, went home to be with the Lord early Sunday morning, Oct. 28, 2007, in Firelands Regional Medical Center after an extended illness.
She was born Oct. 21, 1915, in Nashville, Tenn., to Samuel James and Lula Mae (Shute) Fuqua, now deceased, and was a 1933 graduate of Pearl High School in Nashville. On Jan. 31, 1938, she married Bennie Espy. They were married for 57 years before his death on March 7, 1995. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend and was a long-time member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Sandusky, where she was a founding member of the Busy Bee Club and a co-founder of the Junior Usher Board. She also attended Faith Memorial Assembly of God, Sandusky.
At the age of 51, Mrs. Espy enrolled in BGSU, Firelands, and later earned continuing education credits from the University of Toledo, Akron University and the University of Chicago. She touched the lives of more than 500 children for 14 years working with the Erie and Huron County Head Start program and was the director for nine years until her retirement in 1979. Throughout the years, she received numerous civic and community awards, proclamations and public acknowledgments in appreciation of her dedication to children, senior citizens and her church. One of which was an award from the National Director of Project HeadStart.
One of Mrs. Espy's many talents was her skill as a poet. She wrote numerous poems based upon her faith, her children and everyday occurrences. Some of her poetry was entered in national competitions. In 1990 she was honored to receive the "Silver Poet" award for her poem "Words of Wisdom." In 1997, the Sandusky Citizens Coalition chose her as one of their honorees at the "Who's Who in Community Leadership".
She will be sadly missed by her three children, Elaine R. Johnson and Rozene M. (Carl) Augustus , both of Sandusky, and Ben (Kathy) Espy of Columbus; eight grandchildren, Pastor Mark (Mary) Johnson of Fairfield Calif., Kaye Conway of Sandusky, Carla Augustus and Tiffanie Augustus, both of Columbus, Elizabeth Espy, Atty., Lynne Espy of Atlanta, Dr. Amy (David) Espy-Smith of Bowie, Md., and Laura Espy-Bell (Stephen) of Toledo; nephew, Lawrence (Jean) Fuqua of Sandusky; cousin, Paul (Polly) Deaderick of Denver; eight great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brothers, Samuel James Fuqua, Howard Alfred Fuqua and John Henry Fuqua; and an infant sister.
Friends may call from 11 a.m. Thursday until funeral service at 1 p.m. at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 1215 Pierce St., Sandusky. Officiates are the Rev. Curtis Brown, Pastor Kenneth Hiser and Mrs. Espy's grandson, Pastor Mark Johnson. Burial will follow the funeral service at Meadow Green Memorial Park, Huron. Arrangements are entrusted to Groff Funeral Home, 1607 E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky.
Condolences may be made at grofffuneralhomes.com.