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Ex-Jamaica church director Ella Ivey dies

The Rev. Ella M. Ivey, the mother of TimesLedger Newspaper layout designer Rod Ivey, died last week in Virginia. The former director of Christian education at Calvary Baptist Church in Jamaica was 83.

Ivey grew up in South Carolina and moved to New York along with her siblings when she was 14 to continue her high school education, according to relatives.

She eventually went on to earn several degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts in education from Lehman College, a Master of Science in education from Fordham University and a Master of Divinity degree from the New York Theological Seminary. Ivey later headed the Office of Alumni Affairs at the seminary.

The minister was active during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s and worked with activists such as Dr. Thomas Kilgore Jr., the first black president of the American Baptist Convention, Bayard Rustin and Ella Baker and was a member of the National Council of Negro Women.

After retiring from her duties at Calvary Baptist in 2004, Ella Ivey and her husband Dwellie retired to Virginia. He died in January after being married for 60 years to Ella Ivey.

The minister is survived by her sons Rod and Okera, daughter Glenda Bennerson and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A funeral service was scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Shenandoah Farms Baptist Church in Front Royal, Va., and she will be buried at Mt. Hebron Cemetery.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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