Burnella Hayes Jackson-Ransom, Ex-Wife of Atlanta’s First Black Mayor, Maynard Jackson, Dies
She wasn’t just a First Lady, but also a highly respected entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Loved ones gathered at Ebenezer Baptist Church to celebrate the life of Atlanta’s former first lady, Burnella Hayes Jackson-Ransom, also known as “Bunnie,” who passed away at the age of 82.
According to 11Alive, Jackson-Ransom served as Atlanta’s first lady after her former husband, Maynard H. Jackson Jr., was appointed as the city’s first Black mayor in 1974.
Fox 5 Atlanta reported that city officials expressed condolences on behalf of Atlanta.
“The City of Atlanta is sending prayers of comfort and peace to the family of Bunnie Jackson-Ransom. The former wife of Mayor Maynard Jackson was an incredible force of her own,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. “I will forever remember our former First Lady for her lively spirit and the boundless energy she brought to all that she undertook.”.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mrs. Bunnie Jackson-Ransom. My deepest condolences are extended to her family, friends, and colleagues,” Atlanta City Council member Michael Julian Bond wrote in a statement on Thursday.
Jackson-Ransom was born on Nov. 16, 1940 in Louisburg, NC, where she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in education from North Carolina College. She filled multiple roles as a PR wiz, marketing pro, educator, and author.
“Intellectual, gracious, and everlastingly beautiful, I feel humbled to have benefited from having known her. Her physical presence may have passed, but the example of her life, beauty, intellect, and purpose remains an inspiration to us all,” Bond added.
She was part of multiple organizations, including the Atlanta League of Women Voters, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Azalea Chapter of The Links, Inc., the Metropolitan Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the National Council of Negro Women. She also served as an Executive Committee member of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP
“Bunnie loved this city and we loved her back. Our condolences to the Jackson and Ransom families during this time,” the mayor wrote.
Jackson-Ransom and Jackson Jr. were divorced by the end of Jackson’s first term, and she remarried to Raymond Ransom, bass player for the group, Brick.
As she joins her parents, husband, and ex-husband to rest in peace, she leaves behind four children and five grandchildren.
Jackson-Ransom released an autobiography in 2021, Memoirs of a Life Well Lived.