She was born Nov. 30, 1919, in Fitzgerald to the late Eugene and Grace Cass. She attended Agnes Scott College on an academic scholarship at age 16. After graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1940, Ernestine married the first love of her life, Walter Harrington McGee.
She and Walter raised three children, initially in Europe during Walter’s Army service then in suburban Atlanta, where Ernestine served as a teacher and administrator in Atlanta public schools and as a kindergarten director at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church. After Walter’s untimely death at age 58, Ernestine married the second love of her life, Ralph Jenkins Dickerson, in 1975 and moved to Clayton. Ernestine immersed herself in the Clayton community as a proud member of the Dickerson clan and an active member of Clayton First United Methodist. After her 90th birthday and a spirited fight, Ernestine reluctantly decided to give up delivering Meals on Wheels to the elderly. Ernestine was an avid traveler, taking each of her seven grandchildren on a special trip at age 10 anywhere in the world they wanted to go.
Ernestine is survived by: her husband, Ralph Dickerson; daughters, Mackie Nix (Buddy) and Mary Wiggins (Joe); a son, John Walter McGee (Barbara); grandchildren, Tony Nix, Natalie Mitchell, Billy Newsome, Alan Newsome, Marissa Walters, Ian McGee, Tyler McGee and Kelli Ramey; and great-grandchildren, Meredith Strauss, Madalynn Mitchell, Michael Mitchell, Ann Newsome, Emily Newsome, Wade Newsome, Mattie Grace Walters, Alexis Landry, Gavin McGee, Peyton McGee, Trevor Ramey and Coryn Byers. Ernestine also was delighted to meet her great-great-grandson, Shea Stauss, just last week.
A memorial service was held Sunday at Clayton First United Methodist Church. Friends and family gathered at the church immediately after the service.
The family wishes to thank the staff at CannonWood Village and Halcyon Hospice for their compassionate care. Memorials may be made to Clayton First United Methodist Church or Agnes Scott College.
An online guestbook is available at www.hunterfuneralhomega.com.