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January 21, 2024
17 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Arnethia's family - View on Tribute Wall
Arnethia Blowe 99 formerly of Elizabeth, NJ departed this life on January 21, 2024. A celebration of her wonderful life will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 10:00 am at the New Zion Baptist Church 800 Flora Street Elizabeth, NJ. Visitation 9:00 am until time of service. You may join the service on Zoom Meeting ID: 836 4021 0474 Passcode: 918120. Arrangements are in the loving care of the Nesbitt Funeral Home 165 Madison Avenue Elizabeth, NJ.
Known as Sister, Mother Blowe, and Aunt Sister to those closest to her – was a teacher, a missionary, a poet, a community activist, a storyteller, a voter’s rights advocate, a beloved daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Above all, after dedicating her life to Christ at an early age, she took great joy in sharing her faith with others.
Born at home in rural Gray, Virginia, the only daughter of Reverend Willie G. and Mary Lou Brown Blowe, Arnethia was the youngest child after seven older (and protective) brothers. Her early years on the family farm were spent seeing the value of giving back to her family, church, and community; laying the foundation for becoming a lifelong learner; and
experiencing daily the importance of relying on God in all aspects of her life.
After completing her degree from Virginia State University, Petersburgh, VA, she taught for one year before relocating to New Jersey. She was the Assistant Director of Christian Education for the American Baptist Association in Brooklyn and Long Island. Arnethia went back to school to earn her postgraduate teaching certificate from Kean University in Union,
NJ, and enjoyed a long career as a primary grade teacher with the Newark Public School System in Newark, NJ, from
which she retired.
After retirement, Arnethia became a professional Storyteller, using her skills in programs throughout Northern NewJersey, with a focus on her African-American heritage. She was an Esteemed Elder of the National Black Storyteller Association and a member of the National Storytelling Association and the New Jersey Storyteller’s Guild.
Her missionary outreach also continued into retirement. In addition to teaching Sunday School at New Zion Baptist Church for many years, she continued to provide workshops and programs as a long-standing member and past President of the Conference for the New Hope Missionary Association. Her community involvement included working for voter’s rights and serving for decades as an election worker. She was commemorated as a “Foundation Builder” by the City of Newark for her dedication to improving the lives of the
residents. She was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the City of Elizabeth Office of the Aging, was commemorated by the National Council of Negro Women, and given numerous other citations and recognitions.
At New Zion Baptist Church, Arnethia was one of the founders of the Curtesy Guild, whose primary purpose was to raise
scholarship funds for local college students in need. The church renamed the Guild to the Arnethia Blowe Scholarship Ministry in honor of her dedication to higher learning. Arnethia Blowe was predeceased by her brothers Jesse (Ola), Colie (Mary), Thomas (Louise), Rother, Learne (Grace), Robert (Sadie), Lenrod (Virginia), and her nephew Melvin (ShaRon). She is survived by nieces and nephews Clarence Harrison (Ireatha), Wilford (Mamie), Sheryl McDowney (Preston), Keith (Deborah), Kenneth (Annette), Lamont (Nancy), Vanessa, Paulette, and Melanie Speller (Alfred), and numerous great nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Arnethia Blowe Scholarship Ministry, New Zion Baptist Church 800 Flora Street Elizabeth, NJ 07201