Sarah Lily Eastman Cosey

Published 2:03 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Sarah Cosey was a committed educator, devoted wife, loving mother, doting grandmother, loyal sister and aunt, compassionate friend and neighbor, dedicated church member and a woman of God. She departed this life Wednesday, June 19, and entered the arms of her Lord and Heavenly Father.

Born Sarah Lily Eastman on June 21, 1940, to the late Robert Sr. and Annie Lou Eastman, in the Yokena Community of Warren County, Sarah lived a rich life and was a beautiful soul. The oldest of eight children (with three brothers and four sisters), she was a model matriarch of the Eastman family. Sarah was known for her quiet, calm, peaceful demeanor and had a heart of gold. Her beautiful smile, welcoming spirit and warm hugs made everyone feel loved and special. Although Sarah wasn’t rich by the world’s standards, whatever was placed in her hands or care, she always found a way to multiply it and make it better. Sarah’s quiet strength, determination and perseverance are the legacy that she leaves to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One thing is for certain: To know her was to love her.

Sarah spent her early years in the Yokena and LeTourneau communities. She received her early education at Cedars Elementary School and Bowman High School in Vicksburg. She would later go on to receive her associate’s degree in early childhood education from Holmes Community College.

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Sarah, along with several other educators in the community, believed greatly in the need for early education for young children of color. Thus, she volunteered for an entire year as a Head Start teacher with Mississippi Action for Progress (MAP), before beginning a 37-year career with them as a Lead Teacher and Home Teacher. Sarah was loved by her students and their parents, which often led to there being a waiting list for children being placed in her classroom. Her passion for education was undeniable.

Sarah confessed Christ and was baptized at an early age at Mt. Givens Missionary Baptist Church, where she served in various capacities. She sang in the choir, was the church secretary, Adult Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent and, in her later years, she was a devoted mother of the Church. Sarah loved Mt. Givens and the Mt. Givens family loved her. In addition to her service at Mt. Givens, she was a faithful member of Old Come and See M.B. Church, where she was loved immensely. She also regularly attended Providence M.B. Church and El Bethel M.B. Church. Her service to God and the House of God was something she took great joy in doing.

Sarah was united in holy matrimony to the late Pastor Erwin S. Cosey Sr. on October 4, 1957, in which they remained devoted to one another for 63 years. To this union was born eight children. However, Aunt Sarah and Uncle Lil Man’s house (as they were affectionately called) became the house for every niece and nephew in the neighborhood. Even the grandchildren would come to Granny’s and Paw Paw’s and never wanted to leave. Sarah created a home that was always filled with good food and snacks, lots of love and tons of laughter.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Pastor Erwin S. Cosey Sr.; her parents, Robert Sr. and Annie Lou Eastman; one daughter, Annie Louise Cosey; brothers, Robert “Pipe” Eastman II, William Eastman Sr. and Johnny Eastman; sisters, Julia Mae Cosey, Emma (Sweetie) Walker and Martha Lee Parker; and one son-in-law, Wilbour Washington.

Sarah leaves to cherish her memories seven children; four daughters, Terri (Walter) Cosey, Deborah Dianne Washington, Sarah Lynniese (Greg) Mayfield, and Ava (Eric) Cooley, all of Vicksburg; three sons, Erwin (Thelma) Cosey Jr. of Huntsville, Ala., David (Laurice) Cosey of Bogue Chitto, and Richard Cosey of Vicksburg; one Goddaughter, Mary Jo Freeman; and one Godson, Fabian Eastman of Gurnee, Ill. Additionally, she leaves 9 grandchildren, Delisha (Rufus) Armstrong, Erica R. Cosey, Adrian “AJ” (Lametrice) Freeman, Jeremy Freeman, Sean (Marcisha) Cosey, Sean Gregory Mayfield, Destiny Mayfield, Sarah Lauren Cooley and Sydney Cooley; and seven great-grandchildren, Jaylen Armstrong, Adrian Freeman II, Jaxson Cosey, Lincoln Cosey, Mark Erwin Cosey, Micah and Gavin Johnson. She also leaves a sister, Catherine Robinson of Detroit; two brothers-in-law, Earl Cosey Sr. and Robert “Bobby” (Annie) Cosey Sr. of Natchez; six sisters-in-law, Rutha Maxine Eastman, Barbara Burkley, Debra Hawkins, Linda Cosey Garrett, Dorothy Avance and Christine Cosey; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, the descendants of the Eastman and Cosey families and the Quinola Lane and Dana Road Families.

Funeral services celebrating her life will be held at noon Friday, June 28, at Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church with the Rev. Terry L. Moore officiating.

Burial will follow at Mt. Givens Baptist Church Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Thursday, June 27, from 1 until 6 p.m. with the family present from 5  until 6 p.m. and at the church on Friday from 11 a.m. until the hour of the service.